I strongly believe that Hispanic audiences should also be addressed online, through digital media strategies built specifically for this publics. It must be different the way an organization reaches an American audience than a Hispanic audience (which should also be categorized more specifically, as a Mexican-American is different than an Argentinian, for example).
This article was published at www.dallasnews.com. Click here to see it in its original context.
Hispanic population surge can't be ignored
11:54 AM CDT on Saturday, August 16, 2008
The latest census figures show that the changing face of America is happening at a faster rate than demographers had expected.
Trends now show that the country will become majority ethnic by 2042, instead of 2050. Increasingly, it is becoming more Hispanic and Asian, although Hispanic birthrates are the leading growth engine.
Hispanics are projected to nearly triple, from 46.7 million to 132.8 million, and represent 30 percent of the nation's population. Nearly one in three U.S. residents could be Hispanic within a generation.
But these changes are not happening faster than what University of North Texas history professor Roberto Calderón has foreseen. Or other education leaders, for that matter.
The latest census figures are simply confirming what educators have been seeing for the past decade.
In every major study in recent years, researchers have come back with the same prediction: Hispanics are expected to surpass all other ethnic and racial groups in population growth faster than you can say mañana .
Dr. Calderón says demographers tend to play it safe and err on the conservative side.
He's taking the latest calculations with a grain of salt.
"Do not be surprised if, in five or more years, the current and latest projections are revised yet again, and they will be revised downward," he said. "That is, lo and behold, the expected and projected trends of yesteryear were off, and they actually will be arriving even sooner."
And it won't be all because of immigration, as some might think. When he was the state demographer, Steve Murdock was always quick to point out that the demographic tide was being fueled more by the Hispanic birthrate rather than an immigration influx.
Even a cursory look at North Texas public school enrollments today bears this out.
In Dallas public schools, Hispanics now account for 65 percent of enrollment. In pre-kindergarten enrollment, the number jumps to 76 percent – a harbinger of what to expect in the upper grades.
A recent report by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education predicts that within two years, by the 2010-11 academic year, the majority of all graduating public high school students in the state will be Latino. By 2022, the study concludes, 64,000 more Latino students will be graduating annually from high school than Anglo students.
But the education of Latinos becomes even more critical when viewed against the backdrop of a global marketplace and where our future graduates will be as compared with other nations, said Felix Zamora , president of Mountain View College in Oak Cliff.
He said that watching the video "Did You Know?" on YouTubehas had an impact on many parents, Hispanics and non-Hispanic alike, because of increasing global competitiveness.
"When you compare our educational system to China's and others, and then see who our children will be competing with," he said, "it sets you back on your heels."
All the more reason then, he said, that raising the college recruitment and retention levels of Hispanics will become even more urgent in the next several years. And so far, he doesn't see it happening.