Demographic Change in Suburbia

As noted in this piece in the Economist last week, Latino demographic trends will have far-reaching implications in politics, education, and business:

But this divide—what William Frey of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, calls “the cultural generation gap”—is very much wider in some states and cities. In Arizona, for example, 83% of the elderly are white and 42% of those under 25 are Hispanic. This can lead to divergent priorities, such as the reluctance of the old to pay for education, or even a political eruption. This year Arizona’s anti-immigration ordinance sparked protests far beyond the state’s borders and a lawsuit from the federal government.

Such conflict may well be replicated as other places welcome (or fail to) new residents. Immigrants are increasingly dispersed, settling in areas unused to outsiders. South Carolina’s Hispanic population expanded by 116% between 2000 and 2009. South Dakota, Tennessee and Alabama also saw big jumps.