|Demographics Can Impact Strategy
Some very interesting statistics to inform your business strategy:
Race and Ethnicity—The United States Is Becoming More Diverse
- U.S. Census Bureau projects that net migration will continue to be an important component of population growth in the United States through 2050 with net immigration continuing at higher rates than currently observed.
- The number of legal immigrants in the last decade has fluctuated, but has averaged about 1 million annually since 2001.
- The primary destination states for immigrants in 2009, as in every year since 1971, were California, New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey. Sixty-two percent of all (legal) persons immigrating to the United States in 2009 lived in these six states.
- Researchers at the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that there are more than 11.1 million unauthorized foreigners currently living in the United States which is approximately 4% of the population.
- Since 1950, the United States has been in the midst of a profound demographic change: rapid population aging, a phenomenon that is replacing the earlier “young” age-sex structure with that of an older population. The population aged 65 and older has been increasing as a percentage of the total U.S. population. The older population represented 8.1% of the total population in year 1950. That percentage increased to 12.8% in 2009, and is projected to reach 20.2% in 2050. Stated another way, one in five persons in 2050 will be aged 65 or older. To put these figures into perspective, the “oldest” state in 2009 was Florida with 17.2% of the state’s population in the age category 65 years and older.
- In 2009, almost 45 million persons, or about 15.1% of the U.S. population, identified themselves as Hispanic. If current demographic trends continue, the population of Hispanic or Latino origin is projected to steadily increase as a percentage of the total U.S. population through 2050, (approaching one in every three persons).
- The declining labor force participation of older men is one of the most dramatic economic trends of the past four decades in the United States. Between 1963 and 2008, labor force participation rates declined from 90% to 76% among men aged 55-61. Over this period, labor force participation rates dropped from 76% to 53% for men aged 62-64 and from 21% to 15% for men aged 70 and over.
- The number of foreign-born people residing in the United States is higher than at any point in U.S. history and at 12.5% (in 2008) has reached a proportion of the U.S. population not seen since the early 20th century. Of the 38 million foreign-born residents, approximately one-third are naturalized citizens, one-third are legal permanent residents, and one-third are estimated to be unauthorized (illegal) residents.”
- The U.S. population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. Once a mainly biracial society with a large white majority and relatively small black minority—and an impenetrable color line dividing these groups—the United States is now a society composed of multiple racial and ethnic groups. Along with increased immigration are rises in the rates of racial/ethnic intermarriage, which in turn have led to a sizeable and growing multiracial population. These trends are projected to continue for the next decades.
- America’s racial minorities continue to have disproportionately high poverty rates. In 2009, African Americans and Hispanics had poverty rates that exceed those of whites by several times. In 2009, 25.8% of blacks (9.9 million) and 25.3% of Hispanics (12.3 million) had incomes below poverty, compared to 9.4% of non-Hispanic whites (18.5 million) and 12.5% of Asians (1.8 million).
- Childbearing by unmarried women reached record levels in 2008. More than
1.7 million babies or 40.6% of all births were to unmarried women.
* Preceding bullet points were summarized from:
The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States
Laura B. Shrestha, Assistant Director/Senior Specialist in Domestic Social Policy
Elayne J. Heisler, Analyst in Health Services
March 31, 2011