By 2043, America is expected to become a majority-minority nation — that is, a country where all minority groups, put together, constitute a majority. That day came a step closer last month, when Latinos became the largest demographic group in California. It's already happened in New Mexico, and demographers expect Texas to follow suit.
The national demographic shift is well understood. Less understood is the effect it may have on the country's political culture. New research suggests that white Americans move to the right when confronted with the loss of their status as the predominant ethic group.
According to the Washington Post:
[W]hite subjects who were randomly assigned to read a press release about "projections that racial minorities will constitute a majority of the U.S. populace by 2042" subsequently expressed more conservative policy views than those who read about "the growth in geographic mobility in the United States." Being prompted to consider the prospect of demographic change produced more conservative views not only on plausibly relevant issues like immigration and affirmative action, but also on seemingly unrelated issues like defense spending and health-care reform.
We talk about the implications of this research with the lead author and a journalist who focuses on politics, policy and race.