America has indeed a true diverse population and challenges of having such a diversified group of people range from the most serious issues such as terrorism to minor issues of hygiene. In a nutshell the most important challenge is inculcating the American way of life in people from different races, believing in a same cause of freedom and future that is flourishing for both the country and its citizens. Some notable challenges are;
A person's Lack of trust in people who belong to same or different race.
Involving a population in democratic process that consists of people with different social norms and religious beliefs.
Increasing population with scarcity of natural resources and services provided by government.
A judicial system that can consistently overlook religious beliefs and social norms in making decisions.
Lack of awareness; in reference to future of the world and American beliefs and outlook.
A disintegrated society where groups living in confinement can have disagreements due to their differences.
Different spoken Languages create hurdles in communication.
With challenges there are some notable benefits of having a diverse population; diversity promotes the elements of equality and acceptance; gradually a society is formed where race, religion and other biases become secondary to a more prime element of pluralism on the basis of American system. This element of pluralism becomes the basis of tolerance and patience for others in society irrespective of their color, race and religion. While the system promotes equal opportunities for everyone, the law binds them all as same and equal in the eyes of the judge.
Also, with a diverse population we get to have different cuisines, music, literature, art, festivals, fashion, languages, customs, social relationships, religions and different ideas.
With such a diverse population, every race having a different belief system and cultural and social norms and living styles; the question of how we can promote acceptance of others and cultural pluralism is inevitable yet the answer is very simple. By being true American's we can overlook all the physical and cultural attributes of a person and treat him as we want ourselves to be treated. Civility, patience and tolerance towards beliefs and norms of other social groups would bring peace and harmony to the society. It is important that a person should accept view point of others and not trying to impose his own set of beliefs. Our duties related to our culture or religion can be offensive for others; hence one should always respect others and try to sympathize.
One can simply remove stereotyping by adopting a positive outlook and gesture towards others, a mild smile, a hand shake, a small conversation can increase the level of acceptance from both sides. It may be hard to learn each and every norm of every ethnic group existing in America but it is very easy to tolerate them. It is a fact that stereotyping in one form or another still prevails against certain ethnic groups; hence as individuals we should be considerate and patient. Always ready to lend a helping hand to those who need it. Have cross racial friends and colleagues, look for common interests and discourage those who make fun of other races. We should not make our judgments and have prejudice based on certain perceptions that we got from media, history or an individual belonging to a particular race. A whole race should not be blamed or stereotyped for an individual's or a group's act.
It was monumental and a win for pluralism and acceptance when Americans voted Barack Obama as president even after Republicans labeled him as a Muslim and a terrorist. This shows that general public in America believes in action and words of an individual rather than his color, race or religion.
In the past decade some 10 million fresh immigrants moved to America, summed up with immigrants who settled earlier immigrants make up 12.9% of total American population as of 2010. (MPI, 2007). Although there is a slight decrease in number of immigrants living in America; 11.3 million from 1990-2000 decade to 8.8 million in 2001-2010 decade, there is enough evidence to believe that the trend will only increase in the coming future. The Global economy is in a slump, this has taken its toll on American economy as well but people from other countries have only strengthened their belief in American life; flocks and flocks of people move to America every day with a dream of independence, basic human rights and better living conditions for themselves and their children. Majority of these immigrants belong to the developing nations of the world. In the year 2010; 9.7% from Africa, 40.5% from Asia, 40.6 from Central and South America and only 8.5% from Europe moved to America legally or illegally.
Immigrants make up a considerable chunk of population in America and have a considerable influence on demography and future growth in population. Besides migrants the future of American population also depends on fertility rates and morality rates. Considering the data available (www.census.gov) it is evident that in numbers, minorities including migrants will surpass the majority of today in or by the year 2050. The white (non-Hispanic) population is so far the largest major race in America; but it is growing at very slow rate. On the other hand Asians and Hispanics are growing significantly. This is due to partially due to migration and partially due to their social norms and religious beliefs in relation to child birth.
In coming half century, immigration is going to be the key factor in deciding the demographics of U.S.. Changes in immigration laws, the growing linkages of immigrant families within this country to communities abroad and labor market factors etc. are the driving force of this extensive immigration. As per the projections of U.S. government, Census Bureau, SSA, and Pew Research Centre, the annual immigration level, now about 1.4 million people, will increase slowly by 1% per year, reaching 2.1 million immigrants in 2050 (Passel and Cohen, 2008). As per projections, from 2005 to 2050, the 82% of population hike in U.S. will be caused by the arrival of new immigrants and their descendents. Hence, every fifth American will be an immigrant and this ratio of population will increase up to 19% as compared to current 14%.
This ratio, will in turn, increase the number of dependents in the nation. Furthermore, the most important constituent of this immigrated population will be Asians and Hispanics where Asians will form 8% of the U.S. population as compared to the current 4%. Also, multiracial Americans will drastically affect these projections (Armas, 2009). Also, every fifth American will be over 65 proving that with being diverse, America is getting old too (Shreshtha & Hiesler, 2011).
Although United States is currently facing a huge burden of immigrants on its budget where the number of skilled workforce in these immigrants is very limited. The ratio is going to increase exponentially in coming years as well. Furthermore, another challenge faced by United States is the fear of immigrants in its citizens. After 9/11, the American are finding it hard to trust the new entrants especially Asians, in U.S.. Racial attacks are in fact, becoming part of routine life. The racial discrimination against African has also extended to Asians and Hispanics as well.
Furthermore, economically speaking, U.S. will find difficulty in getting these immigrants settled. With increase in population, urbanization will add a great deal to the current American budget. On the other hand, the alarming factors which is, and going to cause more difficulty to U.S. government, is the increasing number of old people (individuals above 65). Less functional population, with increased health cost and decreased fertility rate will make U.S. face a lot of challenged in future (UN, 2005).
Along with challenges, this demographic diversity has its benefits as well. Perhaps the most promising benefit of cultural diversity in the U.S. workplace is the opportunity it provides for cross-cultural synergy. Immigrants from different countries bring different experiences and skill set which can benefit U.S. economy greatly if utilized properly. Also, where U.S. welcomes these immigrants, it may develop a tendency of gaining access to the countries these immigrants belong to, which will be beneficial for it from foreign affairs' point-of-view. Furthermore, U.S. will also have access to the best workforce from culturally different groups.
Also, America is currently facing a tough time because of India and China who have an easy access to cheap labor. Entry of new immigrants will allow U.S. To utilize this workforce which is ready to work on lower wages (which are unacceptable to American citizens). Let's not ignore the impact of these immigrants on an average American tax payer. An immigrant pays state and federal taxes but is unable to claim any of them due to non-citizenship. Hence, the benefit is transferred to the American citizen.
Considering the current diverse face of U.S., another interesting term suits U.S.'s current state. It's called cultural pluralism. Although sometimes used…