Washington, DCï¿½According to new U.S. @link href=’http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/population/012496.html’target=”_blank”>Census Bureau projections/link, by 2042 American minorities will grow to become a majority, adding to the ethnic and racial diversity that has historically defined our country. The genius of this country is demonstrated by the fact that so many nationalities and ethnicities find a home in the U.S. and are shaped by the U.S. experience while they simultaneously participate in building the U.S.
Hispanics, Asians, and Pacific Islanders are among groups identified as significantly contributing to the overall minority population growth. Some of this increased diversity is attributed to immigration to the U.S. and should be welcomed. As they have throughout U.S. history, immigrants continue to contribute to our economy and our culture. Yet it is the children and grandchildren of immigrants ï¿½ born and raised in the U.S. ï¿½ that will contribute most to the increase in minority populations.
While some fear that demographic shifts threaten American identity, research and experience has shown that todayï¿½s immigrants integrate into American society just as generations of immigrants before them ï¿½ they learn English, buy property, intermarry, become U.S. citizens, and otherwise weave into the fabric of this nation.
Just a few measures of integration include:
* More Immigrants Swearing Allegiance And Taking An Oath. Large and increasing numbers of immigrants are @link href=’http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/natz_fr_07.pdf’target=”_blank”>becoming citizens/link. Numbers of naturalizations have grown from an annual average of only 120,000 in the 1950-60s to 630,000 naturalization between 2000-2007. In fact, 1.4 million people applied for naturalization last year alone.
* English is Alive and Well. According to the U.S. @link href=’http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/c2kbr-29.pdf’target=”_blank”>Census/link, 92% of Americans ï¿½had no difficulty speaking English.ï¿½ In fact, immigrants in the US are learning English at impressive rates. The vast majority of Americans –82%– speak only English at home. According to the U.S. Census, even most people who speak a language other than English also speak English ï¿½very well.ï¿½
* Thereï¿½s Nothing More American Than A 30 Year Mortgage. Homeownership is often regarded as a key indicator of entry into the American middle class. @link href=’http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/index.php?content=f080101’target=”_blank”>Studies/link have shown that as the average length of settlement increases for the Latino foreign-born, average levels of homeownership can be expected to rise. Latinos who have been in the U.S. for over 30 years have a 64.4% homeownership rate in California, exceeding the average California homeownership rate of 57%.
Americans should celebrate the new projections of increased diversity and look forward to a stronger, brighter future.