What you need to know about the new census numbers on Hispanic births
- May 21, 2012
- Research by Frank D. Bean, sociology Chancellor's Professor and Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy director, and Ruben Rumbaut, sociology professor, is featured by Time Ideas May 21, 2012
This past week, results from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that whites now account for less than half of all births made front-page news. Most of this demographic shift away from our nation’s Eurocentric heritage is being driven by Hispanics, whose median age is younger than that of whites and who tend to have more children than white adults do. I suspect this data has gotten much attention because of concerns that it represents a threat to our identity as a nation, but it actually signals a blending of culture and lineage as much as anything else... Then there is the question of language. The concern here is that Hispanic communities will not assimilate and that native English speakers will therefore be disadvantaged. But research has not borne this out. Scholars Rubén Rumbaut, Douglas Massey and Frank Bean have found that Hispanics quickly assimilate linguistically to English. Recent immigrants commonly speak Spanish, of course, but that drops to 35% fluent Spanish speakers among the second generation, then to 17% in the third generation and 5% in the fourth.
For the full story, please visit http://ideas.time.com/2012/05/21/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-cen...
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