Cover: Diversity Explosion

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America

Available September 10, 2014

Major racial and ethnic changes are sweeping the United States, monumental shifts that will leave deep footprints for years. An aging white population is juxtaposed with new minority groups showing robust growth, as Hispanic and Asian groups now account for all the growth in the nation’s youth population. As this younger multi-ethnic generation grows up, the nation’s labor force and electorate will be transformed.

In Diversity Explosion eminent demographer William Frey combines user-friendly graphics and maps with authoritative yet accessible analysis to paint a detailed and illuminating picture of where America’s racial demography is headed and what it means for the nation’s future.

Traditional patterns have largely reversed. The Great Migration northward has been replaced with a southward shift so significant that several northern and western states are experiencing net losses in African American population, while that group’s presence in the suburbs grows as never before. The south, then, is becoming more multi-ethnic as are America’s suburbs. While great change is afoot, however, it would be overly simplistic to characterize the United States as a “melting pot in waiting.” Although some racial lines are blurring, other race-and-space divisions persist. For example, there exists a clear distinction between large, primarily coastal metropolitan regions that have been mainstay communities for Hispanics and Asians and more recent destinations where these groups are receiving a mixed reception. Another important demographic subset is those slow-growing, aging, largely white areas in the middle of the country where new minority presence remains small.

Drawing from these generational and geographic shifts, Diversity Explosion  examines other dimensions of race relations in America including neighborhood segregation, mixed race marriages, and the political ramifications in different parts of the country.


  1. A Pivotal Period for Racial Change
  2. Old versus Young: Cultural Generation Gaps
  3. America’s New Racial Map
  4. Hispanics Fan Out: Who Goes Where?
  5. Asians in America: Where They Matter Most
  6. The Great Migration in Reverse
  7. Zero-Sum Game: White Gains and Losses
  8. Melting Pot Cities and Suburbs
  9. Neighborhood Segregation-Delayed Declines
  10. Mixed-Race Marriages and Multicultural America
  11. Race and Politics: Red, Blue, and Purple States
  12. New Racial Demographics and the Nation’s Future