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Hispanics Rose to be the Largest Minority in the United States

Hispanics Rose to be the Largest Minority in the United States

Posted January. 22, 2003 22:56,   


As of July 2001, the Hispanic population is 37 million people, outnumbering the African American population of 36.1 millions. The occupancy rate of the total population for both the Hispanics and the African Americans are 13% and 12.7% respectively. It has been estimated that the Caucasian population is 199.3 millions, which is around 70%, and the Asian population is 12.1 millions, occupying just 4% of the whole population pool.

Especially, the Hispanics population has been less than the African Americans according to the population census held in April 2000 but just in 15 months, they have overwhelm the African American population by a ‘stable difference’. Director Roberto Suro of the Pew Hispanic Center analyzed that the rise of the Hispanics is “one of the turning points in the history of the United States” and he said, “The United States’ history is no longer the interactions only between the Caucasians and the African Americans.”

The birth rate of the Hispanics in the past 15 months has been 4.7%, which overwhelms the African Americans’ 1.5% and the Caucasians’ 0.3%. The fact that the religion of the Hispanics, the Catholicism prohibits abortions and contraception, also affects the increase of their population.

Hispanics are concentrated and residing in three states of California, Texas and New York. Since these three states have the most number of the Presidential Electoral College and the Senators, it is expected that the Hispanics’ political power of influence will be greatly increased more than the increase in their population.

The current number of the Hispanic Representatives is 19. There has been an incident of President George W. Bush recording his officiating speech in Spanish in awareness of the Hispanics.

As for the state of California, it has been predicted that the number of the Caucasians will fall below half of the entire population and thus, the power of the minority race, centering the Hispanics, will be stronger.

Especially, the Hispanics show the cohesive power just like the African Americans because they commonly own the language (Spanish) and the religion regardless of the different native countries.

In regard to this kind of tendency which is shaking the hegemony of the Caucasians, Patrick Buchanan, an extreme right wing conservative politician, has spurred the Caucasians’ feeling of crisis by writing “In year 2050 when the population of Caucasians fall to less than a half of the entire population, the United States will fall down as a third rated country” in his literary work, ‘The Death of the West’.

However, besides the conflict of the Caucasians versus the minority races, the conflict between the Hispanics and the African Americans, over the issue of being the receiver of the privileged treatment policy of the minority race, has been predicted for a while. The question of whether the rise of the Hispanics will be the ‘hot potato’ to bring about the conflicts of races within the United States has been attracting interests.

Eun-Taek Hong euntack@donga.com