A study by researchers at the Carsey Institute at University of New Hampshire confirms that America is becoming increasingly diverse and at a faster rate than many people had anticipated. After the major recession of 2008, the birth rate among women in their 20s dropped by 15 percent but the drop was not even across all racial and ethnic groups. There are 7.7 million more minority children now than was the case in 2000. But there are 5.7 million fewer White children.
Data in the report shows that in 1990, 32 percent of the U.S. population under the age of 20 was made up of members of minority groups. But 2000, the figure was 39 percent. Now minorities make up 47 percent of the population under the age of 20.
As the nation’s young population becomes more diverse while gaps in educational achievement between Whites and African Americans and other ethnic groups remain stagnant or widen, many colleges and universities will face a major challenge in diversifying their student bodies to even come close to the diversity of the U.S. population. This will be particularly apparent at public universities in states, such as California, Washington, and Michigan, where by law race or ethnic group may not be considered in admissions decisions.
The report, The Increasing Diversity of America’s Youth: Children Lead the Way to a New Era, may be downloaded by clicking here.