New AP series to examine the changing face of America

March 14, 2013
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Morning commuters fill the platform as they exit a train in New York's Times Square subway station, Thursday, March 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
The Associated Press will examine the increasing diversity of the United States and an impending historic shift in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the majority, in a series of stories set to begin March 18.

“America at the Tipping Point: The changing face of a nation” will draw on AP’s deep reporting, Census data, polling information and the insights of social scientists.

The series opener will address such key questions as: What does it mean to be American, and to what degree has that meaning evolved or held steady with each new wave of immigrants to the U.S.? How will that concept change, or has it already, as we see the U.S. move to majority-minority status?

That tipping point for the nation is now projected to occur within a generation, but in some places – Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Texas and the District of Columbia – that future is now. By 2020, eight more states are projected to have white minorities. In 2043, the U.S. will become the first major post-industrial society in the world where that transition has occurred, according to experts.

“America at the Tipping Point” will be an occasional series, offering installments over several months.

“The changes happening in the United States affect everything from politics to schools to the cases the Supreme Court hears, to the day-to-day interactions people have with their neighbors,” said Sally Buzbee, AP’s Washington bureau chief. “We view this as an ongoing body of work that tries to capture some of these wide-ranging effects.”

Upcoming stories will focus on the electoral impact of the country’s changing demographics, the social and legal tensions arising from the shift, and the growing influence of race and class among America’s young people, who are the leading edge of demographic change. Already, 45 percent of those in the K-12 ages are minority, and that will top 50 percent in 2018.

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