THE BLOG

The Upside of the Minority Population Growth

06/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Here's what we know about minorities in America: their names are too hard to pronounce, they're responsible for bringing in the Swine flu -- as devastating as that was -- and they single-handedly caused the financial meltdown.

But here's the upside to minority population growth: America is the only western industrialized nation with a fertility rate above the 2.2 percent replacement rate. That means we have a healthy, growing pool among laborer and consumers. People to make stuff and people to buy the stuff being made, which is key for both short-term economic recovery and long term economic health.

And also in that regard minorities, who traditionally lag in home ownership, will also fill the "home ownership gap" left between sellers and buyers as boomers continue to age and downsize. Also, as minorities are typically steered into higher priced loans, they will inadvertently and disproportionately help prop up the banking system.

The minority population is also younger than the national median age by about ten years -- 27.7 years of age as compared to 36.8 years -- which means minorities will be shouldering social security and medicare as more and more of the current majority check out and cash in.

But here's the bad news, 'cause there's always nasty weather ready to rain on our Juneteenth Day: stricter immigration laws and the lousy economy are slowing minority growth among Hispanics and Asians, the two fastest growing minority groups. And blacks aren't really pulling our weight. Despite the stereotypes, we're apparently procreating at a modest 1.3 percent rate.

Not only is the slowing minority population growth putting our nation at risk, it's also delaying the "tipping point" at which minority and majority will reverse. The Census Bureau had previously projected that white children would become the minority in 2023 and the white population as a whole would do the same in roughly 2042.

Well, now you can add at least ten years to that date. Which means the champagne will have to stay on ice a little longer, and I'm going to have to load up on HGH so I'll be able to party like it's 2052!

More important than my party plans for the next 40+ years, all the previous is worth keeping in mind the next time someone starts bitching too loudly about immigration reform and how we're going to kick out 12 million of "those people." It is essentially the minority population growth that is keeping this country afloat.

You're welcome.

For more perspective please visit That Minority Thing.com