Current Events & Trends: Demographic shifts changing the face of America

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Demographic shifts changing the face of America

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Current Events & Trends: Demographic shifts changing the face of America

MP3 Audio (6.1 MB)

“At its core, demography is the act of counting people,” begins a new report from the Pew Research Center about U.S. population changes. “But it’s also important to study the forces that are driving population change, and measure how these changes have an impact on people’s lives.”

The report went on to summarize 10 demographic changes that are reshaping the United States in significant ways. Among them are:

Immigration is making the country more racially and ethnically diverse. Almost 60 million immigrants have come into the country over the last 50 years, largely from Mexico and Asia (“Asia” in this case being primarily the Middle East, Pakistan and India rather than China and Japan). The percentage of America’s foreign-born population has nearly tripled over the same time to 14 percent, meaning one out of every seven were born outside the United States.

The numbers of Asian and African immigrants are rising, while the number of net immigrants from Mexico has leveled off and is slowly decreasing.

Millennials, those born after 1980, likely now outnumber the “Baby Boomer” generation (born 1946-1964)—and differ from them significantly. They are racially diverse (43 percent are non-white), politically more liberal, and more highly educated—with the result that many struggle with student debt and still live at home.

Mothers are now the sole or primary wage earner in 40 percent of all households with children. This means that large numbers of children spend little time with either parent. More than a quarter of all children under 18 live with a single parent; 5 percent live with no parent at all.

American families are changing in other ways. The percentage of Americans over 25 who have never been married is the highest ever at 20 percent. This is more than double the 9 percent of never-married adults in 1960. About one in four young adults aged 25 to 34—the prime childbearing years—are not married but living with a partner.

The middle class is shrinking. In 2015, after four decades in which middle-class families were the majority, only half of U.S. adults lived in middle-income households. As the middle class has shrunk, the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” has grown.

The percentage of Americans identifying as Christian is shrinking while the number of those religiously unaffiliated is growing. From 2007 to 2014, the percentage claiming Christianity dropped from 78 to 71 percent while the religiously unaffiliated climbed from 16 to 23 percent.

These trends have sobering implications for the nation.  The changes due to immigration show that America’s leaders are repeating the mistake that is currently bringing so much chaos to Europe—opening doors to millions of immigrants from other cultures and religions who will never fully assimilate into American culture.

The changes in family life show that the nation is drifting farther from the God-designed family model (of a husband and wife bound in a loving marriage and bringing up children who are taught godly principles and values). Veering from God’s design brings only greater personal and societal costs.

And rejection of biblical Christianity to embrace other religions (or none at all) leads to only further moral, cultural and societal breakdown as people look to human government or themselves to find solutions for their problems. As Proverbs 14:12 said some 3,000 years ago, “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.” 

To learn more about where these trends are leading and why, download or request our free study guide The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. (Source: Pew Research Center.)