In this discussion we will examine more closely the data on the changing demographics of the U.S. population. Remembering that we are a nation of immigrants, that we promise a better life to those who wish to come here, work hard, and follow our laws, we cannot deny the strains and conflicts that arise when large numbers of immigrants are entering the U.S. each year. We will examine these recent immigrants who identify themselves as Hispanic on the Census Bureau data—the fastest growing segment of the population. Remember that many Hispanics here today come from families that have been U.S. citizens for centuries. The history of the southwestern states and Puerto Rico is a history of Hispanic peoples from before the U.S. was a country.
Review the PDF on Projections of the Size and composition of the U.S. Population: 2014 to 2060 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. from the US Census Bureau website and conduct additional research to answer the following questions:
- We can see the change in the U.S. population based on countries of origin of immigrants and ethnicity of the entire population, which has shifted dramatically in the last few decades. Is this just “more of the same” in a country that has prided itself on being a “melting pot” of peoples and cultures for the past 200+ years? Or is there something different going on here and, if so, what is happening that is different from previous immigration waves?
- Discuss the difference between the “melting pot theory” and the “salad bowl theory” of immigration and acclimatization of new peoples into an existing culture. Which theoretical approach is best, most practical, and achievable for the U.S. and other Western countries that are experiencing a stagnation or overall decline in births?