Explosive Growth in Communities of Color

By Andre Banks Aug 23, 2006

This week, the press has been focused on the new immigration numbers coming out of the Census Bureau's mid-decade update. But they've ignored the other racial news beyond immigration embedded in that data. The a Applied Research Center analyzed the data along racial lines for all 50 states, and found dramatic growth in all communities of color nationwide. Whites are the only group with falling numbers nationally, and Black numbers mostly held steady, including in New York State. Here are some highlights nationally:

    Latinos grew by almost 20 percent.
    American Indians grew by 6 percent.
    Asian/Pacific Islanders grew by 15 percent.
    Multiracial Americans by almost 16 percent.
    Blacks grew by 5.6 percent.
    Whites decreased by 2 percent.

At the same site, you can check out the fact sheet on New York State. Here, Latinos have grown by 7 percent, APIs by a dramatic 13 percent and the multiracial category by 13.5 percent. Blacks had a neglible dip  (.1 percent), while whites dipped a little more (1.3 percent). The multiracial numbers seem to indicate that there’s a lot of desegregation going on in dating and sex.  In the coming weeks, we will be posting analyses for additional states as well.

These increases mean that public officials who have been thinking that they're serving primarily white communities will have to rethink their constituencies. They'll need to get comfortable evaluating public policies and institutional practices against a racial justice standard, and they’ll need to be thinking ahead about preventing hate crimes and individual discrimination. That probably means making more rules rather than less so that peoples' individual biases can’t rule their institutional behavior. Check out our new video, Race and Public Policy: A Dialogue, which lays out criteria for new rules.