The Kids Are Less White

Conor Dougherty writes about the growing Hispanification of America’s children:

The number of non-Hispanic whites fell in 46 states and 86 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas. In 10 states, white children are now a minority among their peers, including six that tipped between 2000 and 2010. Others will follow soon: In 23 states, minorities make up more than 40% of the child population.

The number of black and Native American children declined as well, but by a far smaller degree than whites, according to an analysis of 2010 Census data to be released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank in Washington. The Census Bureau released the first results of its once-a-decade head count of U.S. residents, regardless of citizenship, late last year; over subsequent months, Census released state and local data.

I think this is a widely misreported trend. When the New York Times recently did a piece on me, Ezra Klein, Brian Beutler, and Dave Weigel exactly zero people complained about the massive over-representation of people of Latin American ancestry that reflected. People saw it as a profile of four white dudes. Which is what it was. But my dad’s family is from Cuba, Ezra’s dad’s family is from Brazil, and Brian’s mom’s family is from Chile. That’s kind of a funny coincidence, but the combination of continued immigration and intermarriage means that over time a larger and larger share of American people will be partially descended from Latin American countries. That will probably change various aspects of American life in various ways. But we’re not going to become a predominantly Spanish-speaking country, race isn’t going to stop being a social construct, and it won’t cease being the case that the primary “race issue” is the gap between black people (almost all of whom are in part descended from white people) and a fairly miscellaneous group of socially dominant whites.