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America’s Diversity Explosion Is Coming Just in Time

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“I am convinced that the United States is in the midst of a pivotal period ushering in extraordinary shifts in the nation’s racial demographic makeup,” writes William Frey in his new book, Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America. In this podcast, Frey, a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program and an internationally regarded demographer, explains what he means by “diversity explosion”; why growing minority populations are so important for America; and what public officials, community leaders, and decision-makers need to understand about the importance of educating and training a new generation of workers.

Frey also discusses how he got into the field of demography, and what it means when people say “demography is destiny.” Median age in years according to the 2010 Census:

Median Age for Race Groups, 2010
Whites 42.0
Asians 35.4
Blacks 32.4
American Indians/Alaskan Natives 30.2
Hispanics 27.3
2+ Races 19.9
Source: Table in Diversity Explosion, by William Frey,
using 2010 U.S. Census data.

Also in the podcast, David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy, offers his regular economic update, noting that “something weird is going on” when broad measures of the labor market are looking better yet two-thirds of the voters say the economy is getting worse.


Show notes:

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics Are Remaking America
• Immigrants Continue to Disperse, with Fastest Growth in the Suburbs
Social Mobility Memos
• “The Great American Melting Pot” (music/lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, performed by Lori Lieberman, Schoolhouse Rock, 1977)


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