While Americans are preparing to elect their new president on 3 November, the country has been in a particularly tense situation for several months, since the resurgence of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. A number of controversial deaths of black Americans at the hands of police officers have prompted a string of protests and riots since summer 2020, condemning the persistence of racism within the police force, if not indeed within American society in general. The United States, the land of the ‘melting-pot’, is struggling to achieve peaceful social relations between the various ethnic groups that make up its population. However, given what we learn from the 2020 census, it is becoming more than necessary for them to work on that social cohesion: for the first time in US history, white population numbers fell during the 2010s and the overall demographic growth of the country is now down largely to ethnic minorities.
In this article William H. Frey outlines this accelerating trend toward a more diverse population in the USA, drawing on the latest data published by the Census Bureau. The United States actually collects quite detailed ethnic statistics, questioning the population on which ‘race or ethnic group’ they feel they belong to, a formulation unfamiliar to us in France. And the most recent results clearly show the driving role of ethnic minorities in the country’s demographic dynamism.