Race/ethnicity: Advancing racial equity is a moral and economic imperative.
Insights & Analyses
- The proportion of people of color in the United States has increased steadily over recent decades, particularly in states with large Latinx populations like California and New Mexico.
- The Latinx population has grown the most dramatically, from 6 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2019. Latinx people are projected to make up 26 percent of the US population by 2050.
- The South continues to have the highest proportion of Black residents while Western and Southwestern states have the highest proportions of Latinx and Asian and Pacific Islander residents.
Drivers of Demographic Shifts
The United States' proportion of people of color has grown dramatically in the 21st century as population growth is increasingly driven by people of color and immigrants. African American and US-born people of color populations are now growing more rapidly than White populations. Additionally, immigration is projected to be the primary contributor to population growth by 2030. While most U.S. immigrants were born in Europe during the 20th century, this generation of immigrants are predominantly born in the Americas and Asia.
Grow an equitable economy: Policies to leverage diversity as an asset
- Foster racial inclusion in governance.
- Build multiracial alliances, coalitions, and movements to advance policy change, including pro-immigrant policies.
- Dismantle barriers and build pathways to economic opportunity for boys and men of color.
- Include immigrants by ensuring access to health care, driver's licenses, in-state tuition, and municipal ID cards regardless of immigration status.
- Enact strong language access policies requiring interpretation and translation services for English-language learners and facilitate naturalization among green-card holders.
- Limit the participation of local law enforcement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and support community-led alternatives to policing and invest-divest strategies in communities of color.
- Strengthen democracy by increasing participation of marginalized groups, expanding voting rights (and preventing rollback), and building leadership development pipelines.
- At the federal level, end the lifetime ban on public benefits for people with criminal records, ensure that releasees from federal prison receive essential identification documents and access to transition social services support to reentry, enact all-mail elections, automatic voter registration, and extended voting periods.
Strategy in Action
CASA de Maryland helps green-card holders become citizens. More than 210,000 green-card holders live in Maryland and the greater District of Columbia area. Since 2011, CASA de Maryland has partnered with multiple financial and nonprofit institutions to boost naturalization rates among the region’s green-card holders. Every year, CASA helps more than 1,200 people from over 50 countries of origin apply for citizenship and 95 percent of them become citizens. CASA provides a full variety of services that lawful permanent residents need to have a successful application, from in-house immigration attorneys to citizenship classes, financial education, mentoring, and translation services. With the current federal administration now threatening to prevent immigrants who might require public assistance from obtaining green cards, CASA is leading advocacy efforts to prevent implementation of this new rule. Learn more.
Photo: CASA de Maryland
- Reports: Racial Equity in Our Cities; Promising Practices and Lessons from Local Communities; Providing Identification to Unauthorized Immigrants; 2017 Race for Results; US Population Growth Hits 80-Year Low, Capping Off a Year of Demographic Stagnation; The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019: State-by-State Fact Sheets; Inside the Numbers: How Immigration Shapes Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
- Data: DiversityDataKids.org; Black Male Achievement City Index; Black Census Project; AAPI Data