Assignment: Ethnic Minorities

Assignment: Ethnic Minorities

Diversity Within the United States A great strength of the United States is the diversity of the people. Historically, waves of immigrants have come to the United States to live in the land of opportunity and pursue a better quality of life. Immigrants brought their traditions, languages, and cultures with them, creating a country that developed a very diverse landscape. Of course, some peoples, such as Native Americans, were already on the land, and others, such as African Americans, were forced to come to the United States. An unfortunate outcome was that despite its great advantages, this diversity contributed to racial and cultural clashes as well as to imbalances in equality and opportunities that continue today. These positive and adverse consequences of diversity must be considered in our health care approaches, particularly because the demographics are continuing to change and the inequalities persist. The delivery of health care to individuals, families, and communities must meet the needs of the wide variety of people who reside in and visit the United States.

The percentage of the U.S. population characterized as white is decreasing (see Table 1.1). This is an important consideration for health care providers because ethnic minorities experience poorer health status, which is usually due to economic disparities.

TABLE 1.1 Population Data Related to Origin and Race, 2010

1 In Census 2000, an error in data processing resulted in an overstatement of the Two or More Races population by about 1 million people (about 15 percent) nationally, which almost entirely affected race combinations involving Some Other Race. Therefore, data users should assess observed changes in the Two or More Races population and race combinations involving Some Other Race between Census 2000 and the 2010 Census with caution. Changes in specific race combinations not involving Some Other Race, such as White and Black or African American or White and Asian, generally should be more comparable.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2011, March). Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Redistricting Data (Public Law 94- 171) Summary File, Tables PL1 and PL2; and 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File, Tables P1 and P2.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2011).

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