The immigration in United States has always attracted my attention, particularly by the fact it has been since 1965 mostly a product of the Latin-American region, where a come from. And one of the aspects I consider more interesting is the demographic changings it is provoking in the US for the long term.
According to a projection done by Pew Research Center (Washington) in 2008, the number of Hispanics in the US will triple and represent the major part of American population growth in a 45 years-period, going from 14% in 2005 to 29% in 2050.
It would mean that, in 38 years from now, Hispanics plus Afro-Americans (13%) and Asians (9%) will surpass the white non-Hispanic population, who is ageing and whose birth rate is in a descending scale in comparison with other groups.
Until 2050, 82% of the American population growth will come from immigrants and their descendants, with the Hispanics representing 60% of it, says the The Pew Research Center report.
I remembered this while we were visiting Univision, the leading Spanish-language multiplatform network in the United States, operating on television, cable, radio, online and mobile media and through its on production firm, the Univision Studios.
Their major target public is the American Hispanic population, which since 2011 represents over 50 million of US inhabitants, with many of them have been born in the country.
Univision is one of the five top networks in US, usually surpassing its main competitors (ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) in some markets during the day. This kind of information shows the strength of Hispanics as viewers, as well as consumers (since the main source of revenue for the network is the advertisements) and, in this electoral year, as voters.
In the week that we visited the network in Miami, President Barack Obama and the Republican candidate Mitt Romney went to the network to try to win hearts and minds of these potential electors, who are essential in states such as Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Florida.
In Univision and later in that day at Miami Herald newspaper, we were told that the divisions among the Hispanic community are one of the reasons why latinos are misrepresented in Congress and still don’t have a political figure who could run now for President.
But even though it is true, there is this underneath strength in the Hispanic community in the United States, with the Spanish not just being a common bond among latinos, but also a language being openly spoken – if not dominant in some places – in cities like Miami or Phoenix (Arizona).
Besides that, it is influencing the way Americans eat, dance and it is changing the very nature of some states like Texas, where we happen to be now in our almost 7th week in the fellowship. In this Republican dominated state, Hispanics represent roughly 38% of the population, according to the 2010 Census.
Considering that the majority of Hispanic is Democrat in the United States, maybe in the long term this huge amount of latinos could change Texas color in the electoral map from red to blue. So, this growing Hispanic population in states like Texas is not only a challenge for the social system, but also a political one for both parties and their policies in the long term.