By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) - Here's something to consider as Congress debates overhauling America's immigration system: For the first time since at least 1850, immigrants will be the primary driver of U.S. population.
Births have been the leading cause of population growth since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data in 1850. That may change within the next 14 years.
The population growth shifts could happen as early as 2027 or as late as 2038, depending, of course, on the numbers of international arrivals over the next few years.
Not that immigration levels are at their highest, cautioned Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's senior adviser. The rates were much higher during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
But Americans are having fewer babies.
"This projected milestone reflects the mix of our nation's declining fertility rates, the aging of the baby boomer population and continued immigration," Mesenbourg said.
The Census Bureau issued three projections of population growth shifts based on different immigration levels. A high immigration projection showed that the nation's non-white population would jump from 37% in 2012 to 58.8% in 2060. Hispanics would make up 29.9% of the population, compared with 17% in 2012, and Asians would climb from 5.1% to 9%.
Non-Latino whites are projected to no longer be a majority by 2046, even if immigration levels stay the same.
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By Annalyn Kurtz @AnnalynKurtz
(CNNMoney) - White, non-Hispanic kids will no longer make up the majority of America's youth in just five to six years, according to Census Bureau projections released Wednesday.
Those projections, which include four different scenarios for population growth, estimate that today's minority ethnic groups will soon account for at least half of the under-18 population, either in 2018 or 2019.
"This is going to start from the bottom of the age distribution and move its way up," said William Frey, demographer and senior fellow for the Brooking Institution. "All of these projections show we're moving to greater diversity in the United States."
Already, more than half of American babies being born belong to racial and ethnic groups traditionally thought of as "minorities" - which means it could soon be time to toss that word out completely.
By the time those kids grow up to become adults - sometime between 2036 and 2042 - everyone in the working-age population (ages 18 to 64) will be a member of a group that comes up short of the 50% line.
Demographers call it a "minority-majority." No one single racial or ethnic group will make up more than half of the population.
Editor's note: Freeman Hrabowski has been president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for 20 years. He was named one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2012 by TIME. He spoke at TED2013 in February. TED is a nonprofit dedicated to "Ideas worth spreading," which it makes available through talks posted on its website.
(CNN) - Fifty years ago this month, I chanced to hear the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. I was a mild-mannered kid with a speech impediment and a love of math. That day, I was focused on solving math problems, not issues of justice and equal rights. But King broke through to me when he said this: If the children of Birmingham march, Americans will see that what they are asking for is a better education. They will see that even the very young know the difference between right and wrong.
I chose to march, and found myself among hundreds of children jailed for five terrifying days. Mind you, I was not a brave child. But even at 12 years old, I believed and hoped that my participation could make a difference.
Twenty-five years later, I had made my way to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. My colleagues and I had an outrageous dream: Perhaps a young research university - just 20 years old - could alter the course of minority performance in higher education, particularly in the sciences. Baltimore philanthropists Robert and Jane Meyerhoff shared our vision.
And now people ask: What magic have we hit upon that has enabled us to become a national model for educating students of all races in a wide range of disciplines? How did we - as a predominantly white university with a strong liberal arts curriculum - become one of the top producers of minority scientists in the country?
Rather than magic, there are a number of educational principles at work. And what my colleagues and I have found is that they all grow out of one key truth: The world does not always have to be as it is today.
By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – Each month, about 300,000 households across America receive a survey in the mail from the U.S. Census Bureau. Until recently, they had to be completed the old-fashioned way: pen on paper. But no more.
The Census Bureau has put its monthly American Community Survey online. Just answer the questions and hit the submit button. It's a secure site that requires a password and pin.
"It’s a convenient option for the public," said Todd Hughes, assistant division chief of the American Community Survey Office.
The first online American Community Survey was done in December. Since then, Hughes said about half the responses to the monthly survey have come in via the Internet.
The statistical survey generates data on age, sex, race and income. It also asks questions on health, where people live, veteran status and disabilities. It's the largest of the Census Bureau's surveys that's available online - 60 other surveys are also available electronically.
The online questionnaires are designed to lower cost and make the process more efficient, Hughes said. They will also enhance accuracy.
On paper forms, people sometimes check multiple answers to a question. Online, they can't do that.
It's hoped that in large part, the next decennial census in 2020 will be conducted online. The Census Bureau is certainly planning on that, Hughes said,
That could be huge considering that in 2010, the government printed 360 million questionnaires. Stacked one on top of another, a pile of the census forms would stand about 29 miles high, more than five times higher than Mount Everest.
Yes, the trees are smiling.
By Julianne Pepitone @CNNMoneyTech
(CNNMoney) - How diverse is Silicon Valley? Most tech companies really, really don't want you to know, and the U.S. government isn't helping shed any light on the issue.
In an investigation that began in August 2011, CNNMoney probed 20 of the most influential U.S. technology companies, the Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and we filed two Freedom of Information Act requests for workforce diversity data.
A year-and-a-half, a pile of paperwork, and dozens of interviews later, we have a little more insight - but not much.
Most of the companies stonewalled us, but the data we were able to get showed what one might expect: Ethnic minorities and women are generally underrepresented, sometimes severely so - particularly in management roles. White and Asian males often dominate their fields.
Our investigation demonstrated how difficult - and sometimes impossible - gaining any insight into Silicon Valley's employee diversity can be. It shows a general lack of transparency in an industry known for its openness.
Editor's note: Terence Moore has been a sports columnist for more than three decades. He has worked for the Cincinnati Enquirer, the San Francisco Examiner, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and AOL Sports. Follow him on Twitter
By Terence Moore, Special to CNN
New Orleans (CNN) - Suddenly, after years of the National Football League advancing toward the end zone of equality in its hiring practices, diversity has been smacked for a sack and a fumble.
Let's get the brutal numbers out of the way, and then I'll move to the contradiction to everything I just said, which is the brilliant career of Ozzie Newsome. I mean, among the recent vacancies in the NFL, where 70% of the players are black, there were eight openings for head coaches and seven for general managers.
None were filled by minorities. Zero. Zilch.
How strange, because this is a 93-year-old league whose most impressive guy at running a franchise these days is darker than Vince Lombardi of the past and Bill Belichick of the present.
I'm referring to Newsome, 56, who harkens of the future, because he has a tendency to stay a few paces ahead of his NFL peers.
They call Newsome "The Wizard" for his ability to keep the Baltimore Ravens vibrant throughout his decade as the NFL's first black general manager. In fact, this Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end-turned expert talent evaluator has replaced the Gatorade bath after huge victories as the rage around the league.
"It's part of the dream, that dream," Newsome told reporters at the Ravens' headquarters last week when describing his NFL success. "I don't know if I'll have to pinch myself to see if I'm still dreaming."
No, Newsome's NFL legacy is real, alright.
Atlanta (CNN) – In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama embraced gay rights as part of America's agenda, saying that "our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law."
Last year, he became the first president to endorse same-sex marriage, and polls showed that he was not out of sync with America. They logged a steep rise in public support for gay and lesbian marriages.
Several states approved same-sex marriage ballot measures. Wisconsin voters elected Tammy Baldwin, as their first openly gay U.S. senator.
The progressive blog Truthout wrote that the trends mean that "conservatives will soon no longer be able to use homophobia as a 'wedge' issue in elections."
But gay rights activists such as Michael Shutt say much work is left to be done, especially in more conservative Southern states that lack anti-discrimination policies and laws. FULL POST
By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
(CNN) – For nearly 15 years, Dolores Prida was the Latina answer to "Dear Abby."
The Cuban-born writer penned columns - as she once put it – with "Latin-style tongue-in-cheek advice for the lovelorn, the forlorn and the just torn."
Prida died in New York on Sunday, leaving behind a loyal following of readers. She was 69.
Many knew her popular "Dolores Dice" column in Latina magazine. But Prida was also an opinion columnist who tackled tougher topics such as gun control and teen pregnancy in New York newspapers and a playwright who won international recognition for her work.
The night before she died, she was at a party in New York with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and others celebrating the 20th anniversary of a close-knit network of Latina journalists, lawyers and other professionals.
Ashburn, Virginia (CNN) - The alternating red and blue yard signs are long gone, and people here have gone back to familiar rhythms of life. Long morning commutes, after school soccer games and maybe a family dinner at Clyde's Willow Creek Farm.
But, as Barack Obama begins his second term, the air is decidedly unchanged in this northern Virginia community of tidy subdivisions and endless rows of townhouses.
After a viciously fought, pavement-pounding political campaign, the people are left divided, the gulf between them wide like the grassy medians that separate left and right sides of the roads that lead to the nation's capital.
There is the reliably Republican old Ashburn. Some of those folks remember lush fields and woods brimming with redbuds and ash. Legend has it the place took its name from an old ash struck by lightning so hard that it smoldered for a week.
There is the new divided Ashburn that looks like America's new normal. An explosion of growth in the last two decades turned this place from a largely white conservative constituency to one that is darker-skinned and comprised of more professional women. They call themselves progressive thinkers and are a big reason that Obama in 2008 became the first Democrat to win here - and in the state of Virginia - since Lyndon B. Johnson's victory in 1964.
This time, the commonwealth again hung in the balance. Loudoun County was a battleground within a battleground. Ashburn was its epicenter.
In the end, Obama took Virginia with 51% of the vote to Mitt Romney's 47%, but Obama won in Ashburn's nine precincts by a mere 212 votes. In the Belmont Ridge precinct, the difference was six votes. That's how close it was here.
The people in Ashburn hold widely differing visions of how to steer America in the next four years, but they are tired of the partisan bickering in the halls of power in Washington. They wonder what happened to the voices of reason, the voices of moderation.
About eight in 10 people see partisan divide as the largest conflict among Americans, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last week.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama entered the room a lot more than I thought they would. We're not feeling confident as a nation that we're doing well. - Mike Oberschneider
As Obama takes the inaugural oath Monday, the wish from divided Ashburn is voiced in unison: Mr. President, they say, "We want you to work with Congress. We want you to fix America."
By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) – Mark Krolikowski has shoulder-length brown hair. He likes to wear multiple earrings and French manicure his nails. Students call him Mr. K.
Krolikowski, 59, taught for 32 years at St. Francis Preparatory School, a 150-year-old Catholic institution in Queens, New York.
Until August. That's when the school laid him off.
He alleges that he was discriminated against because he is transgender and that the school's attitude toward him changed in the eight months after he came out.
He recently filed a lawsuit saying the school and its principal, Leonard Conway, broke the law with his termination and that as a result, Krolikowski has been distressed.
"Teaching - it's my life," Krolikowski said Friday. "I feel that has been taken away from me."
His lawyer Andrew Kimler said Krolikowski's case has "significant ramifications for the LGBT community and is a wakeup call to employers in terms of employment practices."
Conway would not comment but referred questions to his lawyer, Philip C. Semprevivo Jr.
Semprevivo said he could not discuss details of the case since it was in litigation but said Krolikowski was terminated legally.
"We deny all the allegations," he said. FULL POST
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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