A new report by researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has unveiled six potential demographic trends that will dramatically transform social, economic and political institutions in the country.
The report titled Six Disruptive Demographic Trends: What Census 2010 Will Reveal was authored jointly by two professors at the Kenan-Flagler Business School who conclude that the geographical distribution, racial and ethnic composition, age mix, family types and economic circumstance of the US population is vastly different today from what it was a decade ago. While the researchers relied largely on data and statistics compiled by various government institutions and agencies over the past 10 years, they expect the findings of the 2010 Census to corroborate the trends identified by their study and provide greater detail pertaining to these.
The six trends identified comprise a booming growth of population in the Southern states driven by mass migration of people from all demographic groups and high fertility rates among some of them; relatively higher growth in the non-white population in the country; increase in marriages across racial and ethnic lines; a significant aging population who enjoy greater longevity than their past generations; weakening of the gender divide in the workforce; and finally a larger number of grandparent-headed families.
Collectively, all six trends point to a much more diverse, multicultural population which also implies the imperative of more innovative and thoughtful strategies, both in politics and business. The research points out that while diverse consumer bases require businesses to evolve compatible strategies for attracting customers and managing workforces, legislators and policymakers should also meet the challenges by redrawing lines for state legislatures and Congressional districts to promote economic competitiveness rather than political and electoral advantage.
Education for the predominantly non-white population also poses a challenge since a majority among them study in severely under resourced and lowest performing schools. Given that they comprise a greater proportion of the overall American population today than before, this could turn out to erode the nation's future competitiveness as a whole.