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Multiculturalism In United States
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DescriptionDemographics, Diversity, & Divisions
Multiculturalism In the United States: Demographics, Diversity, & Divisions
One of the most unique aspects of the United States is the diversity of its people. The Statue of Liberty states, “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and America has indeed become an amalgam of people of different races, religions, and creeds. In order to better respond the needs of its assorted citizens, the American government has sought to learn about the characteristics of its people. To this end, the Census has been administered every ten years by the government since 1790. The Census provides the government with information ranging from household size to income; however, it is perhaps the statistics supplied by the Census on race that allow for the most interesting deductions.
Although the Census has been in place for almost two hundred and fourteen years, it is only recently that it has been revised to allow for precise racial identification. The Census Bureau notes, “the questions on race and Hispanic origin,” have been modified and expanded “to better reflect the country’s growing diversity.” For example, it was not until 1980 that Asian Americans were able to specify their origin as Asian Indian as opposed to Asian in general. In addition, despite its growing proportion of the population, the option to indicate Hispanic origin was not added until 1970. While these modifications are significant, the most notable recent change to the Census was the option to mark off more than one racial group in 2000 and thus identify as multicultural or multiracial.
As will be shown in this paper, analysis of the Unites States racial composition and relevant studies indicate that America has not become the “melting pot” of cultures and races that was once predicted. Through residential racial segregation, the continual influx of immigrants, and the emergence of a multiracial population, America has remained a “mosaic” of cultures – separate entities combining to create a great diversity. While indeed, some races have mixed through interracial marriages, cultural differences have be sustained and diversity in this country has actually increased.
Shifting Racial Composition
America is still a predominately white society despite the growing proportion of minorities in its total population. The percentages the each race comprised in 2000 were reported as follows: 75.1% White, 12.3% Black, 4.2% Asian, 5.5% Some Other Race, and 2.4% Two or More Races. In addition, 12.5% of the population identified their origin as Hispanic. While this basic breakdown of the races in the United States is informative, further breakdown within each racial category is even more telling.
The White population is the majority in the United States, however its dominance seems to be diminishing. According to ...
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