United States has more than 100 million minorities

May 24, 2007

from DiversityInc.com‘s New Census Data Proves Changing Demographics: People of Color Top 100M
By Aysha Hussain and Barbara Frankel

In 2000, corporate America had a wake-up call when the Census Bureau announced the rapid growth of the Latino population in the United States. The Census Bureau’s predictions of changing demographics are coming true and are exceeding original expectations. It’s clear that by 2050, if not sooner, white people will be a minority in this country. As of 2006, one in three people in this country was a person of color.

“To put this into perspective, there are more minorities in this country today than there were people in the United States in 1910. In fact, the minority population in the U.S. is larger than the total population of all but 11 countries,” Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said in a statement.

Why is this so critical to business? Companies are in a war for talent — and increasingly that talent is found in people of color. The 2007 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity — already are cornering the market on that talent.

Consider these facts:

The Top 50 hire 42 percent people of color; the U.S. work force is 29 percent people of color, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

  • Although Top 50 companies employ only 5 percent of the U.S. work force, they employ 17 percent of the college-educated people of color, according to data from the BLS and National Education Statistics
  • Twenty-five percent of Top 50 companies’ management are people of color, compared with 15 percent people of color in management nationwide, according to the BLS

Companies also are recognizing that, increasingly, people of color are their consumers. And as household income of people of color rises dramatically (it’s increased at more than twice the rate of white households since 1990, according to Census Bureau data), those customers are vitally important. Companies that have the cultural competence to reach those customers will be there in the long run.

In 1990, people of color had 15.6 percent of U.S. buying power but are projected to possess 25 percent by 2011, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia. Latino buying power is up 566 percent in that period, compared with a 532 percent rise for Asians, 346 percent for blacks and only 275 percent for whites.

Here are more facts from the newest Census Bureau data, which covers July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006, that make the business case for diversity:

People of color now account for 100.7 million of the population, with Latinos as the largest group. A year ago, people of color totaled 98.3 million

  • The nation’s black population surpassed 40 million, accounting for 13.4 percent of the population
  • Latinos were the largest minority group, with 44.3 million, 14.8 percent of the population
  • Latinos were the fastest-growing group, with a 3.4 percent increase during the periods. Asians were the second fastest-growing group, with a 3.2 percent increase. The black population increased by 1.3 percent
  • Four states — California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Texas — as well as the District of Columbia, now have people of color as the majority.
  • People of color on average are younger than white people. The median age for Latinos was 27.4, compared with 36.4 for the population as a whole. The median age for the black population was 30.1 and the median age for the Asian population was 33.5.
  • According to USA Today, immigration accounts for more than 40 percent of the U.S. population growth since 2000.

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