White Unto Harvest: The Rising Hispanic Demographic in America
Last month, we launched the first phase of our Spanish language project. Why are we doing this? The reason is twofold: First, the reformation of church and family life is sorely needed in the hispanic community. Second, the spread of the gospel from generation to generation is dramatically affected by church and family life. We are watching one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. Our nation is changing and we want to be of service to a divinely appointed shift that is in unstoppable motion. Here are the details:
Last month, a birth rate statistic made news across America: White births are no longer a majority in the United States. The Wall Street Journal offered this headline: “Minority Births Are New Majority: In Demographic Watershed for U.S., Newborns among Non-Hispanic Whites Are Surpassed by Others.”
New York Times journalist Sabrina Tavernise explained:
Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in the 12-month period that ended last July, according to Census Bureau data made public on Thursday, while minorities — including Hispanics, blacks, Asians and those of mixed race — reached 50.4 percent, representing a majority for the first time in the country’s history.
Tavernise described the change as “a tectonic shift in American demographics,” noting that the most significant factors at play are a dramatically rising Hispanic population compared to a stagnating Anglo population in the U.S.
Reporting on newly-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Pew Research Center provided a ten-year snapshot that shows the magnitude of this trend. From 2000-2010, the white population in the U.S. decreased from 196.8 million to 194.8 million — a 1.2% decline. During this same ten-year period, the Hispanic population in America climbed from 35.2 million to 50.5 million — a 43% increase.
While immigration accounted for 37% of this growth among Hispanics in the U.S. over the last decade, a surprising 63% occurred due to a higher birth rate among Hispanic women: 2.4 live births per Latino woman, compared to 1.8 live births among child-bearing whites.
The Wall Street Journal added: “. . . the rapid growth of the Hispanic population isn’t just due to higher birthrates: Minority women also are younger on average, so more of them are in childbearing years.” Tavernise elaborated with this key statistic:
The median age for non-Hispanic whites is 42 — meaning the bulk of women are moving out of their prime childbearing years. Latinos, on the other hand, are squarely within their peak fertility, with a median age of 27.
Tavernise further noted that this population sea-change among Hispanics and Anglos has “broad implications for the country’s economy, its political life and its identity.” The Washington Post’s editorial board made a similar observation:
Radical demographic shifts are occurring in Texas, Florida, Arizona and other big states as elderly non-Hispanic white populations, who control the political process through their votes, are being gradually supplanted by a wave of younger Latinos.
Both California and Texas — who rank #1 and #2 in populations respectively among the 50 states and who each had a Hispanic population of 37.6% as of 2010 — are expected to have majority Latino populations by 2020. This shift has direct bearing on both state and national politics. While California already leans toward the Democratic Party politically, Texas’s position as the “Big Red” of the Republican Party is predicted to end once Hispanics become the dominant demographic.
A closer look at demographic trends in Texas is revealing. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 findings, the breakdown for Texans 18 year of age and older is 49.6% white and 33.6% Hispanic, with 16% more Anglos than Hispanics. Yet the trend is nearly the opposite among Texans under 18 years of age: 33.8% in this age bracket are white, while 48.3% are Hispanic — with 14.5% more Hispanics than Anglos.
In short, the die is cast for Texas to become a predominately Latino state over the coming decade; and if fertility rates among whites and Hispanics remain constant, and the net migration rate of Hispanics to Texas holds at a rate equal to 2000-2004 levels, in the year 2040, the demographic breakdown is projected to be as follows: 58.1 % Hispanic, 25.0% Anglo. These and other data points have led Stephen Murdock, who served as the Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census under President George W. Bush, to state: “When you look at the future of Texas . . . it’s over for Anglos.”
Though the population disparity between Anglos and Hispanics is not projected to be as pronounced on the national scale in the coming decades, the U.S. Census Bureau nonetheless projects that whites will become the minority of the population in the United States in the year 2042.
Understanding the Times: The NCFIC’s Engagement Strategy to the Hispanic Community
These population trends have profound implications across a broad spectrum, and thoughtful city planners, educational institutions, labor force advisors, and political operatives are now actively reassessing their past protocols and developing new strategies to make the most of this dramatic demographic sea-change.
The Church must “understand the times,” and to meet the growing ministry need to Latinos, the NCFIC has begun a major initiative to reach the Hispanic community with the message of Sola Scriptura as it relates to church and family life.
Phase Two includes translating The Weed in the Church and our other key print resources into Spanish – a goal which is underway, but not yet complete.
Our vision for Phase Three is to identify key Hispanic leaders in states with a significant Latino population (including Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Texas, and California, among others), and to encourage proactive ministry to Hispanics within these regions, as well as to host targeted conferences that focus on the unique needs of the Latino community.
The harvest is indeed plentiful, and the laborers are few. We would appreciate your prayers and support as the NCFIC seeks to take steps to more actively minister to those “of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev. 5:9).
 “Minority Births Are New Majority: In Demographic Watershed for U.S., Newborns Among Non-Hispanic Whites Are Surpassed by Others,” by Conor Dougherty and Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2012.
 “Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S,” by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times, May 17, 2012.
 Pew Research Study: “Hispanics Account for More than Half of Nation’s Growth in Past Decade.”
 Pew Research Study: “Explaining Why Minority Births Now Outnumber White Births.”
 “America’s changing demographics,” Washington Post Editorial Board, May 17, 2012.
 U.S. Census 2010, P.L. 94-171.
 As noted in “Population Change in Texas: Implications of the 2010 Census for Education, The Labor Force, and Economic Development,” by Steve H. Murdock. Presented March 24, 2011 at a Texas Economic and Demographic (TEDA) meeting in Houston, Texas.
 Steve Murdock, who now serves as Professor of Sociology at Rice University, stated this on February 28, 2012 at the Texas Tribune’s New Day Rising Symposium, hosted at the University of Texas at Austin.
 As noted in the Pew Research Center Study, “Explaining Why Minority Births Now Outnumber White Births.”
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