America becoming a majority-minority society, or no longer having a white majority, is a misleading narrative based largely on a confused interpretation of a constructed demographic statistic. The changing composition of America's population is being misinterpreted by the puzzling use of racial, ethnic, linguistic, ancestry and origin categories that increasingly make little sense.
Since the first U.S. census in 1790, when some data on race and ethnicity as well as categories differentiating between free persons and slaves were collected, the government has changed its definitions of racial categories more than 10 times. Nearly every census has collected racial data differently than the census preceding it. Also, in most past censuses people who were both white and another race, no matter how small the percentage, were counted as the nonwhite race.
In addition, census terminology for ethnicity data has changed, especially during the recent past. In 1970, for example, the Census Bureau added a question to one of its forms about Hispanic origin. In the 1980 census the term Spanish/Hispanic was added before origin or descent in a form sent to all U.S. residents. But in 1990 descent was dropped from the census question and in 2000 origin was dropped as well and the word Latino was added.
America's population census is an essential undertaking and importantly required by the Constitution for determining representation in Congress. However, beyond the basic enumeration, what subjects or questions are included in the decennial census is a political matter, which is increasingly being impacted by decisions of the courts.
Census questions about age, sex and place of residence typically raise few objections. However, the collection of other demographic characteristics, such as religion, race, citizenship, ethnicity and immigration status are often contentious and some are avoided. In addition, some Americans are distrustful of the census because of data privacy, confidentiality and misuse of certain data, as occurred in the past as well as more recently.
With respect to race and ethnicity, the Census Bureau adheres to the standards of the White Houses Office of Management and Budget (OMB). For the race question the five categories are: white, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
For the ethnicity question the two categories defined by OMB are: Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. Also, its important to note that people who identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino may be of any racial category, including white.
Beginning in the 1960, census race was no longer determined by census takers, but based on self-identification. The self-reporting of more than one race began with the 2000 census, which provided an estimate of the country's multiracial population.
The Census Bureau stresses that its racial categories reflect a widely recognized social definition of race and are not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically or genetically. Also, the racial categories may include racial, national origin or sociocultural groups.
Throughout its history America has repeatedly experienced fears and concerns about its identity and being taken over or displaced by others. Those fears and an us versus them mentality continue today and are typically aimed at immigrants and their descendants and minorities.
Around the time of the nations founding, there were concerns that the English language might be displaced because of incoming Germans. Numerous other fears and hostilities towards minorities and immigrants followed.
Americas population is made up of hundreds of ethnic groups coming from around the world, not simply two, Hispanic and not Hispanic. For example, some numerous ethnicities in the U.S. are German, West and Central African, Irish and Italian.
Also, importantly, the country is not made up of a single homogeneous majority group, as is often reported. The majority category is a divisive narrative based on a constructed demographic statistic. It is formulated by lumping together groups with different ethnic backgrounds, such as Egyptian, English, Greek, Iranian, Italian, Moroccan, Turkish and Russian, and then providing them with a label typically based on their physical appearance and skin pigmentation, namely white."
More American couples are creating families across racial, ethnic and linguistic lines, thereby blurring ethnic and assigned racial boundaries. As a result, large and growing numbers of young people have two or more categories of ancestry and simply choose to identify themselves as American in the census.
One in seven U.S. infants, or 14 percent, were multiracial or multiethnic in 2015, nearly triple the level in 1980. This population group of mixed ancestry is projected to be the fastest growing group over the next several decades.
Over the past 250 years, one of the widely recognized strengths of America has been its ability to welcome immigrants from around the world and have them and their children become Americans. This strength is reflected in Americas traditional motto and inscribed in the countrys great seal and on its dollar, E Pluribus Unum, or out of many, one.
So, whenever the majority-minority society is mentioned, just remember it is based on a constructed demographic statistic, unlike measures such as age, sex or place of residence. As in the past, Americas population in 40, 50 or 100 years will consist of men, women and children with various ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic and ancestral backgrounds. But there is one critical thing that those people will continue to share in common: they will proudly call themselves Americans.
Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, a former director of the United Nations Population Division and author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, "Births, Deaths, Migrations and Other Important Population Matters."
See the original post:
- Map using police reports shows what crimes were reported across Sealand in June - LeaderLive - August 4th, 2021
- Cannabis industry group pushes 'green seal' and tax credits - Times Union - July 29th, 2021
- Sealand: The extraordinary tale of a micronation off the Suffolk coast where you can become a duke or duchess - Cambridgeshire Live - July 29th, 2021
- 10 game releases to look out for in August 2021 - Animation Xpress - July 29th, 2021
- Lawrence County Courthouse exterior project to be finished in October - Ellwood City Ledger - July 29th, 2021
- A-10 Warthogs Are About To Operate From A US Highway For The First Time - The Drive - July 29th, 2021
- What Is Killing The Birds? - Union County Daily Digital - July 29th, 2021
- Certified American Grown is Honored to have Congressional Resolutions Introduced to Celebrate American Grown Flowers and Foliage Month -... - July 29th, 2021
- The mystery of the meaning behind Honiton's town seal - Midweek Herald - July 29th, 2021
- HOPING TO BE TUFF ENOUGH | Jamestown Press - Jamestown Press - July 29th, 2021
- Review: You'll lose your head over a great Dev Patel and dazzling 'The Green Knight' - USA TODAY - July 29th, 2021
- 'Foul smell' that has plagued a Chester road for years is back - Cheshire Live - July 21st, 2021
- People living on Welsh border tormented by smell likened to dead bodies and human waste - North Wales Live - July 21st, 2021
- The big business of nobility titles - The Hustle - July 21st, 2021
- Few efforts to derail WU TRAIN BAKER lays out federal COVID relief spending plan Where is JANEY'S REPORT on PATRICK ROSE? - Politico - July 21st, 2021
- Pidlite Industries appoints Sudhanshu Vats as deputy managing director - Mint - July 21st, 2021
- City of Jackson is set to replace its seal, and it's saying goodbye to Andrew Jackson and his horse - WSYM-TV - July 14th, 2021
- Toughest Summer Job: Repairing asphalt in the heat - WeAreGreenBay.com - July 14th, 2021
- Is Breaking the Seal a Real Thing When Drinking Alcohol? - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic - July 14th, 2021
- How to turn past-their-best summer berries into a refreshing drink recipe - The Guardian - July 14th, 2021
- Acosta on Trump Appearing at CPAC: 'Take Your Fake White House Seal and Go Play President Somewhere Else - Mediaite - July 14th, 2021
- East Morgan County Library News: Collection is full of items of all kinds for check out - Fort Morgan Times - July 14th, 2021
- 'Wherever you go, you can make a friend' | Hometown Heroes 2021 | beacononlinenews.com - The West Volusia Beacon - July 14th, 2021
- Great White Sightings Are Up But You Can Avoid A Shark Attack With Common Sense, Say Experts - Forbes - July 14th, 2021
- County Durham women on 4x4x48 run to beat pancreatic cancer - The Northern Echo - July 14th, 2021
- Opportunities in India's Trade and Investment with Iran - India Briefing - July 14th, 2021
- Keypoint Intelligence Awards Canon, Epson, and HP with BLI Summer 2021 A4 Picks - PR Web - July 14th, 2021
- LBUSD sees massive summer school enrollment, and it's more than remedial classes Long Beach Post News - Long Beach Post - July 12th, 2021
- Chester 10k 2021: What runners and residents need to know - The Chester Standard - July 12th, 2021
- Home Sweet Home Chicago (06/26/21) David Hochberg with MEGAPros Joe, Tom Jahnke with Builder Supply Outlet, Roy Spencer from Perma-Seal, and the VP... - June 28th, 2021
- Kill Cliff Releases Limited Edition Commemorative Cans Celebrating 10 Years Of Giving Back To The Navy SEAL Foundation - BevNET.com - June 28th, 2021
- GOP Congressional Candidate Used Campaign Funds to Take Part in Capitol Breach - Truthout - June 28th, 2021
- 2 ex-O.C. sheriffs deputies who are twin brothers admit to military leave fraud costing taxpayers nearly $50K - KTLA - June 28th, 2021
- A GOP candidate used leftover cash from his failed congressional campaign to pay for a trip to the Capitol riot, report says - Yahoo News - June 28th, 2021
- For history and culture lovers, there's no place like Sitka - Anchorage Daily News - June 28th, 2021
- What is the Colombia Check-MIG Form and How You Can Get It - Luxury Travel Magazine - June 28th, 2021
- Blackfish: how captive killer whale documentary ended SeaWorld's orca breeding programme - The Conversation UK - June 23rd, 2021
- Surge testing in two areas of Chester amid 'alarming' rise in Covid rate - The Chester Standard - June 20th, 2021
- David Athertons dressing recipes for summer salads - The Guardian - June 20th, 2021
- Seal season's a busy time for rescue groups, but not all washed-up pups are in need - ABC News - June 20th, 2021
- The 2021 SCO International Round Table was held in Lianyungang, Jiangsu - PRNewswire - June 20th, 2021
- 'The Office' trivia, Father's Day fishing: 15 events, things to do in Spring and Klein in June, July - Community Impact Newspaper - June 20th, 2021
- Calls for inquiry into legislated and approved animal deterrents following Tasmanian seal deaths - ABC News - June 20th, 2021
- Sid the salmon-eating seal "not having an effect" on fish in the River Wye - South Wales Argus - June 20th, 2021
- This Video Of A Baby Seal's First Swim Lesson Will Melt Your Heart Into A Puddle - NDTV - June 20th, 2021
- FreightWaves Classics: Port of Los Angeles is the nations busiest! - FreightWaves - June 15th, 2021
- How to Witness the Rare Polar Solar Eclipse - AFAR Media - June 15th, 2021
- Boyd Expands Global Footprint With State-of-the-Art Facility in Vietnam - I-Connect007 - June 15th, 2021
- Great white sharks preparing to return to Cape Breton | Saltwire - SaltWire Network - June 15th, 2021
- Portion of Cousino Rd. to be repaved in LaSalle - Monroe Evening News - June 13th, 2021
- Flag Day 2021: New Jersey's connection to the Stars and Stripes - NorthJersey.com - June 13th, 2021
- Nothing compares to the first local luscious strawberries of the season - Farming Life - June 13th, 2021
- Boyd Corporation Expands Global Footprint With State-of-the-Art Facility in Vietnam - Business Wire - June 13th, 2021
- Airway Heights prison guard gets 2 months for smuggling drugs inside. Prisoner who received the drugs? He got 56 months. - The Spokesman-Review - June 13th, 2021
- Seven years in prison for chief mate of cargo vessel where Philly feds found record 20 tons of cocaine - The Philadelphia Inquirer - June 13th, 2021
- J.B. Webb Bassmaster Classic will be one to remember - Sherman Denison Herald Democrat - June 13th, 2021
- Principality of Sealand - Become A Lord Or Lady With Sealand - June 2nd, 2021
- About Sealand | The Principality Of Sealand | Sealand History - June 2nd, 2021
- Antengene Announces Fifteen Clinical Studies and Results of Selinexor to be Presented at ASCO 2021 - Stockhouse - June 2nd, 2021
- Notice of Public Hearing | Legal Announcements | newsadvance.com - Lynchburg News and Advance - May 27th, 2021
- New initiative inspires coexistence with seals on Cape Cod beaches - PRNewswire - May 27th, 2021
- How many children did Aretha Franklin have and where are they now? - Smooth Radio - May 27th, 2021
- Mollie Tibbetts case recap: 'I wouldn't harm her,' boyfriend testifies in Cristhian Bahena Rivera's trial - Des Moines Register - May 27th, 2021
- Researchers try to ID source of ghost fishing nets - Yahoo News - May 27th, 2021
- Luck of the Jewish? - The Jewish Standard - May 27th, 2021
- Plywood boards used to protect New York establishments are repurposed into captivating sculptures - Archinect - May 27th, 2021
- Seal: Heidi Klum and I have never had co-parenting teamwork - Inside NoVA - May 27th, 2021
- This Manual 1967 Mercury Cougar 289 Is Looking for a New and Caring Owner - autoevolution - May 27th, 2021
- Breathe easier and guard yourself against airborne contaminants with this KN95 respirator mask - The Straits Times - May 27th, 2021
- Behind Guam but ahead of other insular areas - Saipan Tribune - May 27th, 2021
- Maintenance on Platt Road near Ann Arbor could affect traffic - MLive.com - May 24th, 2021
- Which geological period is called the Age of Fishes? The Weekend quiz - The Guardian - May 24th, 2021
- Seal Says He and Heidi Klum Have Never Had Teamwork Coparenting Their Kids - Us Weekly - May 24th, 2021
- A grand strategy of resolute restraint - Brookings Institution - May 24th, 2021
- What you should be shredding and why - Tennessean - May 24th, 2021
- June construction could bring parking off streets and delays - Wyoming Tribune - May 24th, 2021
- USAF Ready to Move ABMS-Tech Into Operational Phase - autoevolution - May 24th, 2021
- Project updates for the Week of May 24, 2021 - Texas Department of Transportation - May 24th, 2021
- The two-state solution that envisages sovereign Palestine & Israel living side by side in peace is the only way to end their conflict, writes A L... - May 24th, 2021
- You don't have to wait for the Wisconsin State Fair to enjoy food on a stick. Try this grilled chicken souvlaki recipe. - Green Bay Press Gazette - May 24th, 2021