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The Next New Thing: The White Plurality

Adam Rust's picture

Posted April 6, 2010

The 2010 Census may provoke a new term in the lexicon of demographers and advocates: "white plurality." In more and more places, the 2010 Census will show that white residents do not make up the majority of the population. More places will be majority-minority.

Four states were considered majority-minority in 2009: Hawaii, New Mexico, California, and Texas.  About one in ten American counties is already majority-minority. One city - Washington, DC, is majority-black.

What this means to a person reflects a lot about who they are. For people at the ends of the spectrum, from Tea Partiers at one side to identity-politicians on the other, the conclusions are obvious. For the rest of us, it is a confirmation of how things are changing and a reminder about re-establishing the frame of reference for how we think about our country and our communities

within it.

I usually credit the "market" to pick up on things quickly.  Where is the marketplace missing out on the point?

I think a lot of communities wonder why they cannot get a new grocery store.  Big Box markets continue to avoid inner cities.  PathMark, Safeway, and a few other grocery store chains are the exception to the rule. I think that the disconnect is driven by how marketers gather their data analytics. Market segmentation firms (Claritas, Nielsen) measure demand on a per-person basis. A store is put in an area where per-capita incomes are appropriate for a product.

I am worried about the lack of bank branches in most "majority-minority" communities. It seems as if banks are ceding more and more communities to the non-bank alternative financial services market.

Find out what the marketers are saying about your community, here!