News / USA

US on Front Lines of Demographic Transformation

A residential section of Annandale, Virginia
A residential section of Annandale, Virginia

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Zlatica Hoke

The U.S. population has passed the 300-million mark in the past decade, with non-white groups accounting for most of that growth.  A new study of census data for 100 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. shows that many black, Asian, Hispanic, foreign-born and single people are moving to the suburbs, once populated mostly by white middle-class families with children.

Annandale High School has more than 2500 students, from 85 countries.  They speak more than 40 languages.  The number of students has grown so much in the past decade that many classes take place in a trailer park behind the main building.

The school has five full-time employees to help new immigrants.  They're fluent in Vietnamese, Spanish and Korean. Honduran-born Dinora Gonzalez is a liaison for Hispanic families.

"I deal mostly with low-income families and they don't speak English so they call me for any issue in the school and I get in touch with the school staff, like counselors, teachers and vice versa," said Gonzalez

Annandale High opened its doors in 1954 to a few hundred white students.  Almost all of the residents in the vicinity were white middle-class families with children.

Catherine Quigley's family moved into the neighborhood in 1962.    All of her three children attended Annandale High.

"When my son graduated in 1977 there were about 680 students.  Of that 680, one person was African-American," noted Quigley.

Quigley is one of many original residents who have stayed in the neighborhood as they've aged.  She says most of her neighbors now are Asians, Hispanics and Middle Easterners.  Many of them do not speak English.  And she says some of the community spirit has been lost.

"It was a real neighborhood when we moved here, even though people were from all over the country," she said.  "They had come from cities or villages or towns where it was just expected that you were part of a community.  Now it's not."

But she has made friends with a Lebanese family who moved across the road six years ago.

Joseph Moura moved out of Lebanon ten years ago, after his brother, a policeman, was killed in political violence.  He says Annandale has everything his family needs.

"First, my wife does not drive here. She does not have a driver's license.  Here the shopping is close.  Everything is - gas, laundry - everything is close-by here.  So she can even walk," Moura said.

Moura was a well-paid chef in Lebanon, but he had to change his profession to be able to support his family in America.  Today he runs a small construction business. Like Moura, immigrants have to adjust to a new life, but they also have a profound impact on the United States. William Frey is a demographer at Washington's Brookings Institution.

"People from other parts of the world - Latin America and Asia - are bringing different languages, different cultures and different ways of doing things to this country," noted Frey.

Frey says immigrants, who used to settle in major entry ports, such as New York, Miami and Los Angeles, are now moving into many other metropolitan areas.  And suburbs, especially those with good schools, attract families with young children.  Frey says governments, schools, employers, and politicians running for office will have to connect with these new immigrants. Many Americans are already doing that.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid