The U.S. population is changing. This had a large effect on the 2012 presidential and other elections and will continue to do so. It is especially important for the Republican Party to engage with the minority audience and to understand where it is growing and what their needs are.

In the latest demographic figures from Esri, the world’s leader in geographic information systems (GIS), in 2012, minorities make up 37% of the population. This is up from 36.3% in 2010. The largest groups in the minority population are Hispanics and blacks. Hispanics increased since 2010, but the percentage of the black population is holding steady.

Minority population, 2010 and 2012

  2010 2012
Hispanic Population % 16.3% 16.9%
Black Population % 12.6% 12.6%
Minority Population % 36.3% 37.0%

The growth of the minority population is a critical figure to watch as the changing population affects politics, businesses, education and more. It is changing the dynamics in communities across the U.S. The minority group that is growing the fastest is Hispanics. The group is not only growing in areas with large Hispanic populations such as the West and South. Rather, the Hispanic population is growing in communities throughout the country.

Click on image to enlarge map.

Diversity Index

Esri created a proprietary Diversity Index that measures diversity on a scale of 0 to 100. The Diversity Index is defined as the likelihood that two people, selected at random from the same area, would belong to a different race or ethnic group. In 2000, the Diversity Index of the U.S.was 54.6. This increased to 61 in 2010. In 2012, it has already increased more – to 61.4.

The diversity in local communities is increasing throughout the US. In just two years – between 2010 and 2012 – the Diversity Index in most areas of the country increased. This correlates fairly consistently to the growth of the Hispanic population throughout the U.S., but it is also a critical index to watch as it indicates the growing diversity and changing dynamics of the U.S.

Click on image to enlarge map.

Why does this matter

The changing demographics in the U.S. will have a large effect on everything from politics to the economy to education. Soon the white population will no longer be the majority. This is already the case in many communities in the West and South. It has affected how all citizens in those areas view issues such as health care, immigration, jobs and more. As the U.S. becomes more diverse, it is important for everyone to understand how and where the population is growing to make the best decisions for the population.

More information about Esri’s data can be found at www.esri.com/data or to learn more about Esri in general, go to www.esri.com.

Pam Allison is a digital media, marketing strategist and location intelligence consultant. You can visit her blog at www.pamallison.com.

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