The Washington Post reports today that from 2000 to 2007, the percentage of children under 5 who are Hispanic swelled from 19 percent to 24 percent in this country.
The District, which the census treats as a state, stands in marked exception to that trend. As once-affordable neighborhoods have gentrified over the past decade, the city has been losing black residents while gaining white newcomers, steadily diminishing its longtime status as a majority-black metropolis.
The latest census figures confirm that pattern, with non-Hispanic blacks accounting for 54 percent of the District's population in 2007, compared with 60 percent in 2000. Meanwhile, the number of non-Hispanic whites increased from 28 to 33 percent in that period, while the Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian population remained at 8 and 3 percent, respectively.
Every time I visit Washington D.C., it's whiter and wealthier.
(Don't forget, the ethnic clearing of African-Americans from D.C. is actually happening faster than these numbers for "non-Hispanic blacks" indicate -- the African-Americans are being replaced by black immigrants, who tend to be more obsequious and thus make better servants for white Washingtonians.)
No wonder the politicians and pundits are baffled by all those "angry" voters out there concerned about demographic trends. In D.C., everything is good.
That helps explain the lameness of the Washington Post's article:
"Hispanics have both a larger proportion of people in their child-bearing years and tend to have slightly more children," said Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center and co-author of a recent study predicting that the Latino population will double from 15 percent today to 30 percent by 2050.
Huh? The Hispanic total fertility rate was 2.96 babies per woman per lifetime in 2006 -- that's 59 percent more than the rate for white women. That's not "slightly." And it's also a lot higher than the rate for blacks, Asians, and American Indians.
"So this means that in five years, a quarter of the 5- to 9-year-olds will be Hispanic, and in 10 years a quarter of the 10- to 14-year-olds will be Hispanic. It's just going to move up through the age distribution with each successive cohort being slightly more Hispanic," Passel said.
At first, this seems too obvious bother putting this paragraph in the article. Yet, when you think about it, what Passel is saying turns out to be a lie -- there is this thing called "immigration" that will keep increasing the Hispanic percentage for each age cohort as time goes by. So, ten years from now, more than 24 of the 10-14 year olds will be Latino.
Moreover, the key but ignored point is that in five years, the 0-5 year old cohort will be somewhere around 4 percentage points higher than in 2007 -- around 28 percent.
And, from there, it just keeps going up.
Fortunately, according to the Washington Post, there is good news hidden in the numbers. You guessed it: cultural vibrancy!
"Yet the increasing number of Latino youths might enrich mainstream U.S. culture in unexpected ways, Singer said. "A lot of popular culture comes from youth culture, and we already see the effect of the newest demographic waves in current music and new media," she said."No, on the whole, we don't. This is one of those dog-that-didn't-bark facts that nobody notices, especially if they lunch in Georgetown.
The abstract logic is too seductive -- Young people are creative; lots of young people are Hispanic. Ergo; lots of creative people in the U.S. must be Hispanic!
Except, they're not. In Miami, sure, but definitely not in Hollywood, which happens to be at the center of the largest concentration of Hispanics in America. Mexican Americans must make up, what, 15 percent of everybody resident in the U.S. in their 20s, but they probably don't make up even 1.5 percent of the English language celebrities in America. (Sure, there is a whole parallel universe of Univision stars, but nobody in Georgetown pays them the slightest attention.)
Nobody ever stops and counts. Counting is racist.