News / USA

US on Front Lines of Demographic Transformation

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

Multimedia

Audio
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

US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

NYC mayor says, 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' yet blizzard warnings, travel bans remain for several East Coast states More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid