IMPACT: The Impact of Changing Demographics.


Given the changing demographics of the nationís workforce over the next two decades, the current educational disparities among racial/ethnic groups are projected to lead to a decline in the educational level of the U.S. workforce as a whole. This drop in the levels of education completed would in turn result in a decrease in personal income per capita among Americans.

This analysis is drawn from three projections, all based on both demographic trends and a continuation of current disparities in personal income levels by ethnic group, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.2 The three projections differ as follows:

  • Projection 1: Current educational gaps remain (but they do not continue to widen). This projection assumes the status quo: that current levels and gaps in levels of education completed among racial/ethnic populations would remain as they are. This means that inequality would persist within and among states in the educational levels of racial/ethnic groups.

  • Projection 2: Parity within each state. This projection assumes substantial improvement: that schools, colleges, and universities within each state would raise the levels of education completed of African- Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans to that of whites currently in the state. However, inequality would persist among states in the educational levels of their residents.

  • Projection 3: Parity across the U.S. This projection offers a best-case scenario: that schools, colleges, and universities nationwide would raise the level of education completed of African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans to that of whites currently in the five best-performing states.
2Population projections are based on historical rates of change for immigration, birth, and death. Asian-Americans/Pacific Islanders are not included in these projections because their level of education completed outpaces that of whites.


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