|Who will the average American look like in the future?
Ask someone from another country what they think Americans look like. More often than not, they will describe a typical American as a light hair, light-eye color Caucasian – sort of like Ken and Barbie. Perhaps this stereotype results from viewing too many late night Baywatch reruns; don’t all American girls look like Pamela Anderson?
If Baywatch were to reflect the average American in the future, the cast would have brown skin and brown eyes. Many would be Hispanic.
The most recent U.S. Census took place in 2010. Based on data trends, minorities in American will collectively become the future majority. To note, unlike in the 2000 Census, last year’s Census included a new definition for Hispanic, stating, “’Hispanic origins are not races’ because in the federal statistical system Hispanic origin is considered to be a separate concept from race.” It is viewed more like an ethnicity. As such, people of Hispanic origin may be categorized under any race in the 2010 Census, with the majority identifying themselves under “White” or “Some Other Race.”
Highlights from last year’s census versus the 2000 Census include:
- The Hispanic population drove more than half of the total growth in the U.S. population.
- Hispanics comprise 16.3% of the population and grew 43%.
- The Asian population, while comprising just 4.8% of the U.S. total, grew 43.3%.
- According to U.S. Census analysts, much of the Hispanic and Asian growth is due in part to higher levels of immigration.
- The Black/African American population showed growth (12.3%) though at a slower pace than other minority groups.
- In total the growth of minority groups outpaced Whites, though Whites still held the majority of the population.
- The multiple-race population grew with White & Black combination driving the largest group at 1.8 million. The other three largest multiple-race combinations included White & Some Other Race (1.7 million), White & Asian (1.6 million), and White & American Indian and Alaska Native (1.4 million).
With the growth of the minority population, not surprisingly the number of interracial marriages has likewise increased. According to the 2010 U.S. Census:
White Americans: Due to their demographic majority, were involved the most in interracial marriages in terms of absolute numbers, though statistically they were the least likely to wed interracially.
- 2.1% of married White women and 2.3% of married White men had a non-White spouse.
- 1.0% of all married White men were married to an Asian American woman.
- 1.0% of married White women were married to a man classified as “other”.
- 4.6% of married Black American women and 10.8% of married Black American men had a non-Black spouse.
- 8.5% of married Black men and 3.9% of married Black women had a White spouse.
- 0.2% of married Black women were married to Asian American men.
- 17.5% of married Asian American women and 8.2% of married Asian American men had a non-Asian American spouse.
- Of all Asian American/White marriages, only 29% involved an Asian American male and a White female.
- Of all Asian American/Black marriages only 19% involved an Asian American male and a Black female.
The increase in interracial marriages means the face of the American family is changing. For companies to be a viable competitor, they will need to adjust their target markets and reflect this through their advertising. Children today in the U.S. are growing up with a Black President and more diversity in the media than ten years ago. Perhaps when these children grow up, the Ken and Barbie view of the “typical” American will just be a vintage notion.