Richard Alba on ‘White Minority’ Myth in NY Times Op-Ed

In a New York Times op-ed titled “The Myth of a White Minority,” Distinguished Professor Richard Alba (Sociology) sheds light on the Census Bureau’s “outdated, illogical methods” in forecasting an imminent white minority.

For example, the claim that “minority babies are now the majority” belies a much more complex reality.

In a data analysis, Alba identified only about half of infants (children under 1) as non-Hispanic whites — though 60 percent had at least one non-Hispanic white parent. The discrepancy arises because of demographic convention: The census counts as minority anyone of mixed race or ethnicity.

“We are becoming a more diverse society, but not a post-racial one,” he writes. “For that reason we cannot abandon ethno-racial categories ... But we need to admit that these categories are at best rough approximations when it comes to understanding who we are becoming. Our society, transformed by immigration and new forms of assimilation, hasn’t yet developed the vocabulary to capture the nuanced realities of this evolution.”

Read the op-ed.

Submitted on: JUN 11, 2015

Category: Faculty Activities | General GC News | Sociology