The Brookings Institute has come out with an analysis on the census data from 2000-2008. I’ve included a link to an article discussing some highlights, and the report itself. The article highlights the changing demographics of the cities and suburbs. In 2008, the majority of non-whites lived in the suburbs. And, not coming as a surprise, the study found that young whites were moving into cities at rates unseen for many decades.
From the Associated Press’ article, this was a fascinating quote: Ten states, led by Arizona, surpass the nation in a “cultural generation gap” in which the senior populations are disproportionately white and children are mostly minority.
In my personal experience, I frequently encounter a generational gap in race relations and understanding. While it is statistically unsound to base from personal experience alone, I often find myself wondering if my generation (Y) has more respect for cultural, racial, and other differences than previous generations. As was noted in the article and has been mentioned in multiple studies, whites will not be the majority population in the United States by the middle of this century. My generation was the first to grow up in naturally integrated schools and neighborhoods, and my first experience with racism was not until middle school. Until that point, I thought that racism had been stamped out shortly after the Civil Rights’ movement. While my naiveness may irk some, it could also be a sign that younger generations are prepared to face the reality of a truly diverse nation in a few decades.
*Title of post attributed to a South Park song*