Demographic shifts will impact government | Online Athens


Demographic shifts will impact government | Online Athens

ATLANTA — The divergent views of the George Zimmerman trial for the death of Trayvon Martin illustrate how profound demographic differences can be, but the implications go beyond pop culture to impact all levels of government.

In that case, surveys show that black Americans viewed Zimmerman as guilty of committing a racially motivated murder while other ethnic groups accepted the jury’s acquittal. The split illustrates how public issues are swayed by demographics.

That’s the message state policymakers got last week during a convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta. Much has been written and said since November’s election about how demographic trends affect politics with a growing minority voter base fueling Democrats, but the policy repercussions have gotten less attention.

For example, an obvious trend is the expanded prevalence of Hispanics who make up 92 percent of the country’s overall population growth since 2000. Less obvious is that they are 74 percent of the labor force growth between 2010 and 2020, and they’ll account for 90 percent between 2010 and 2050, according to projections by the Pew Research Center.

“The picture of the workforce is changing pretty dramatically,” said Paul Taylor, director of Pew’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

via Demographic shifts will impact government | Online Athens.

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