Race and Ethnicity in the U.S. and PR Workplace

More Black, Asian, and Hispanic or Latino families are giving birth to children, which is shifting the race and ethnicity of the U.S. population. Most children born in 2020 are expected to be a race other than white, U.S. Census Bureau figures show. Less than a quarter of a century later, the United States is predicted to become a multicultural majority nation.

“While the non-Hispanic White alone population will still be the largest, no race or ethnic group is projected to have greater than a 50 percent share of the nation’s total,” according to the Census Bureau. “Shifts in the racial and ethnic composition of the future population are projected to occur primarily within the native population, which will become majority-minority by 2044” (p. 1).

By 2060, people of two or more races are expected to be the fastest-growing population, followed by Asians and Hispanics, the Census Bureau reports. The number of multiracial people is forecasted to triple in size; in contrast, Asians are forecasted to more than double, and Hispanics are predicted to represent nearly 30 percent of the population, according to the bureau. Additionally, the number of people born in another country is expected to grow from 14 percent to 17 percent, or by 25 million people.

Compared to U.S. demographics, people of color are under-represented in the public relations profession. Whites make up 76.5 percent of the population, 2019 Census data show, but 83.6 percent of public relations specialists, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the same year.

Regarding people of color, the latest Census figures show Latinos at 15.9 percent, blacks at 13.4 percent, and Asians at 5.9 percent. However, for public relations specialists, the numbers show 13.6 percent Hispanics or Latinos, 9.9 percent blacks, and 5.8 percent Asians, according to BLS.

The issue of under-representation of people of color has permeated the public relations profession since its inception, and it has become increasingly relevant as the U.S. population shifts.

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