It's about to get real brown in the United States.
According to a new report from the Brookings Institute, non-white people accounted for 98 percent of population growth in the nation's largest cities from over the last decade. The number of Asians and Hispanics grew by over 40 percent, the report found, while the number of African Americans grew by 12 percent. The findings come just months after 2010 Census numbers suggested that minorities would make up a majority of the U.S. population by midcentury.
The surge in minority populations will naturally bear a considerable impact on government policy and politics in the immediate future, but how it will affect the cities where these rapid growths are occurring, and the people who live in them? It's tough to say.
"The statistics don't tell us how people will adjust," said William H. Frey, Senior Fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program and author of the report. "But they do tell us how quickly people will need to adjust."
Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston were highest in black population gains. And as the trend of reverse migration for black Americans from northern to southern cities continues, it would not be entirely out of left field to contend that African Americans are headed back to the temple of their familiar. Frey noted that during a recent call-in show on which he was a guest discussing the larger repercussions of minority growth, a black woman called in to say that she had recently moved from Detroit to Atlanta, not because there was less racism there, but because she knew what kind of racism to expect there.
The upshot is that there is strength in numbers -- and the browner the population, politicians will have to give more attention, one hopes, to issues like, say, black unemployment.