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The Increasingly Diverse U.S.


The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the minority population has reached 100.7 million, meaning one in every three U.S. residents is a racial or ethnic minority. That level of diversity has not reached U.S. colleges.

 “There are more minorities in this country today than there were people in the United States in 1910…In fact the minority population in the U.S. is larger than the total population of all but 11 countries,” said Louis Kincannon, the Census bureau director. . There were 98.2 million minorities last year.

Hispanics remain the largest minority group at 44.3 million, followed by Blacks at 40.2 million and Asians at 14.9 million. The American Indian and Alaska Native population is 4.5 million and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander is 1 million.

According to the 2006 Census Bureau  figures on educational attainment, just 15 percent of Blacks, 15 years old and over, have a bachelor’s degree or higher. For Hispanics, that figure is just 10 percent.

“This is a great wake up call,” Jon Erickson, vice president of educational services at ACT’s education division, said of the new Census data in comparison to educational attainment of minorities. “If the minority population is moving to become a majority, [and yet have low representation in education] it is an issue that can hurt not just individual but the entire country. 

 “Colleges need to continue to communicate to minority students the importance of college early on, and states need to assist low-income families by providing free services such as free [college-admissions] testing.”

–Margaret Kamara

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