Pew: Hispanic Identity Fades Across Generations
Demographics is everything to Democrat political strategy. It is taken as an article of faith that the growth of the Hispanic population as a distinct identity group will mean a coming inalterable Democrat advantage.
Currently, Hispanics are more aligned with Democrats:
Today [October 2016], 54% of Latino registered voters say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos than the Republican Party, while 11% say the Republican Party has more concern – a 43-point difference. The Democratic advantage on this measure has remained relatively stable since 2012, when 61% of Latino voters said Democrats had more concern for Hispanics, compared with 10% who said the same of Republicans. At the same time, 28% of Latino registered voters today say there’s no difference between the two parties on this measure, a share that is relatively unchanged from 2012.
Voter registration by party mirrors these preferences.
We’ve questioned this demographic destiny argument before, given high rates of intermarriage, particularly among Hispanics. Such increasing intermarriage is healthy for us as a society, but it’s not healthy for Democrats who play divide-and-conquer identity politics.
This skepticism about a demographic destiny is being questioned even from the left:
But if we look ahead 40 years, there’s a decent chance this Democratic majority never materializes. Ethnic identity is fluid—it shifts and changes with the circumstances of society. Right now, we think of Latinos and Asian Americans as separate from the white mainstream. But there’s no guarantee that will be true in the future. Indeed, if it isn’t, we could have a politics that looks similar to the one we have now.
As Victor Davis Hanson also notes:
What is the future of diversity politics after the 2016 election? Uncertain at best—and for a variety of reasons.
One, intermarriage and integration are still common. Overall, about 15 percent of all marriages each year are interracial, and the rates are highest for Asians and Latinos. Forty percent of Asian women marry men of another race—one quarter of African-American males do, as well—and over a quarter of all Latinos marry someone non-Latino.
Pew recently released a survey that further proves this point, Hispanic Identity Fades Across Generations as Immigrant Connections Fall Away:
More than 18% of Americans identify as Hispanic or Latino, the nation’s second largest racial or ethnic group. But two trends – a long-standing high intermarriage rate and a decade of declining Latin American immigration – are distancing some Americans with Hispanic ancestry from the life experiences of earlier generations, reducing the likelihood they call themselves Hispanic or Latino.
Among the estimated 42.7 million U.S. adults with Hispanic ancestry in 2015, nine-in-ten (89%), or about 37.8 million, self-identify as Hispanic or Latino. But another 5 million (11%) do not consider themselves Hispanic or Latino, according to Pew Research Center estimates….
By the third generation – a group made up of the U.S.-born children of U.S.-born parents and immigrant grandparents – the share that self-identifies as Hispanic falls to 77%. And by the fourth or higher generation (U.S.-born children of U.S.-born parents and U.S.-born grandparents, or even more distant relatives), just half of U.S. adults with Hispanic ancestry say they are Hispanic….
As a result, even estimates of the number of Americans who self-identify as Hispanic could be lower than currently projected.
There are many other arguments as to why Democrats’ “demography is destiny” argument doesn’t hold up.
But intermarriage and fading self-identification across generations — which are good for America — definitely are a threat to the Democrats’ hoped-for demographic destiny.
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