Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Diversity > Latest Census Report Underscores Obsolete Meaning of “Minority”

Latest Census Report Underscores Obsolete Meaning of “Minority”

LatinaLista — The U.S. Census released a report today stating the obvious:

Nearly one in every 10 of the nation’s 3,141 counties has a population that is more than 50 percent minority.

The report had some other interesting tidbits:

Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population (4.7 million) in 2006, followed by Harris County, Texas, and Miami-Dade (1.5 million each).
Maricopa County, Ariz. (home of Phoenix), had the biggest numerical increase in the Hispanic population (71,000) since July 2005, followed by Harris County, Texas (63,000).
Starr County, Texas had the highest Hispanic proportion of its total population in 2006, at 97 percent. In fact, each of the 11 counties with the highest Hispanic proportion of its total population was in Texas.

Which leads us to wonder if the Minority are the Majority, and minority is defined as less than 50% — then isn’t it time for a new term to refer to people of color?
It would not only be technically wrong to continue using the term “minority” when talking about the Hispanic population in these cities where Latinos constitute the majority, but the continued use of the term can be seen as a way to demoralize and create the illusion of a power gap when it comes to numbers.
It also begs to be asked if we want to be lumped under one umbrella term that continues the separation between people of color and whites.
It is a question for the new millennium.

Related posts


  • Jose
    August 9, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    I think all this means is that we will have a similar dynamic to places like South Africa or antebellum US where there were more of the “minority” than the majority, yet we were still called minorities. Those titles after all mean less about the actual population statistics than it does about the actual power that a certain group has. It’s a question that will have to breed new answers since we’re in a different space than we were a century or so ago.

  • yave begnet
    August 10, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    “Minority” is a word whose time has passed. It is too vague and it was simply a euphemism anyway for “not white.” Sometimes it was used to refer to women, which makes no sense since women are in the majority in the U.S.
    It also begs to be asked if we want to be lumped under one umbrella term that continues the separation between people of color and whites.
    Hear, hear! We don’t need these distinctions. In many of our families, they don’t even make any sense. So here’s hoping for a world where racial difference is acknowledged but essentially neutral. We are a ways from that world, but it’s something to hope for.
    In the meantime, let’s not forget that the U.S. is still 70-something percent white. That is a significant majority that isn’t going to change overnight.

  • Horace
    August 10, 2007 at 6:10 pm

    One in five Hispanics are illegal aliens, have no political power and are subject to deportation. Eventual removal of these 20 percent will do a great deal in reducing the apparent power of Hispanics.

  • Jose
    August 11, 2007 at 11:00 am

    But, in response, they won’t be removed, because they’re one of the “dirty little secrets” America keeps. They love talking about protecting the borders and keeping America the way it is, yet the people who have the most power keep illegal aliens (Mexicans, Haitians, Asians, et. al.) employed for bottom-of-the-barrel wages … and that’s profitable. Migrant farm workers, restaurant workers, … all the jobs that cost too much if they had to employ a citizen of these states.
    I agree that they have no political power because they’re subject to deportation at a moment’s notice, but will they eventually remove them? Hmmm … they’ll have a facade of removal, but no not really.

  • Frank
    August 15, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    What you fail to realize is how deeply engrained the rule of law is in most law abiding Americans. They are going to see that these illegals get deported. Americans have fought in wars and sweat blood and tears building this sovereign nation and we will not have it taken over by illegal aliens. Americans are just as proud of their culture, language and heritage as any of citizens of other countries and we will fight to keep it as we have always done in the past.

Comments are closed.