We have two graphics we want to share with you.
This first one indicates states in blue that are already majority minority (<50% of the population is white, non-Hispanic), while the states in green are nearly there.
And now, let’s take a look at only the youth population (under 18):
What do you see?
What we see is a country inexorably shifting to majority minority.
Demographers may talk about when the United States will shift to being less than 50% white, non-Hispanic (most predict around 2040, give or take a year or two). But in places, that future is here, now. And if you only consider the youth population (under 18), it is here, now, in a lot more places.
We’ve talked about this shift before, most notably in the report “Museums and Society 2034: Trends and Potential Futures” that we wrote for AAM’s Center for the Future of Museums. And it is also true that this may not be as large an issue for an art museum in Maine than it is for a children’s museum in southern California. But ultimately, all museums will have to understand that this shift is happening, and that in order to thrive in the future you must appeal to broader audiences, and not just the current white-majority core audience.
Because not doing anything at all is just too risky.
Over the next several weeks will be talking a great deal about shifts taking place in America, primarily based on the most recent releases from the US Census. Coming up next will be a couple of posts on income dynamics. But don’t forget this post because, as it turns out, the future of philanthropy in museums may be a lot less white as well.
We’d love to hear how your museum is thinking and doing about reaching out to broader audiences, and minority youth populations in particular. To share your thoughts, simply click on “comments” below. (If you are reading this from your e-mail subscription to the blog, please go to our blog's website to add a comment.)