1. Bill Frey from Brookings on how America is already transitioning to a multiracial society:
Over the last decade, the U.S. population under age 18 grew by less than 3 percent. But the 2010 Census also reveals an absolute decline of white young people over this period, as well a somewhat smaller decline of black youths. Hispanics, Asians, and to a lesser degree multiracial children, accounted for all of the net growth the nation’s under-18 population.
This, however, has troubling consequences with regard to the ever greater divide (see #6) between older, whiter, conservative voters and younger, browner, liberal constituents — in short, between America’s past and America’s future, except that the former is generally going to be in charge.
2. Speaking of America growing apart, an interesting way to look at Brookings Metro’s newest online datasets — showing that metro areas dominate many states in population, employment, and particularly in economic output — is to compare cities that lead vs. lag in GDP per capita within their respective states. For instance, right next door:
Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.: 47% higher GRP/capita than state average
Burlington, N.C.: 25% lower GRP/capita than state average
Within the nation as a whole, the wide gap between the most and least productive regions is sharply growing: DC earns 5X as much as Mississippi, and that gap has grown 18% since 1990. By 2015, at PPP, Shanghai province will have a higher per capita income than Mississippi.
3. Wikipedia has some interesting bits on linguistics. For instance, the extra R in “char siu bao” (it’s pronounced “cha seew bow”) comes, of course, from the non-rhotic Englishmen who settled in Hong Kong. Also, something that I’ve noticed in England and New England alike — particularly in terms like street names — is a tendency towards plainer terminology, disposing of many of the euphemisms that American English has imported from French. This tendency has a term, since of course it was tied to the tension between upper and middle class Britons — “U and non-U.”