The period between 1976 and 1987 saw a remarkable and vigorous growth in New York City, with the creation of more than 400,000 jobs. This expansion transformed the city into an economic powerhouse. The US Census Bureau reported that most of the US population will not be white by 2050. When it comes to the public's opinion on this change, half of Americans believe that it will lead to more conflict between racial and ethnic groups, while four in ten think that the majority of the non-white population will weaken American customs and values.
On the other hand, views on the growth of interracial marriage are generally positive or neutral, with half saying that it is something or very good for the country. When it comes to marriage and divorce trends, half of Americans predict that within 30 years people will be less likely to get married than they are now. Similarly, six out of ten expect the divorce rate to stay roughly the same. Opinions about the impact of having a non-white majority population vary considerably from party to party.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents are much more likely to express positive views than Republicans and Republican supporters. These partisan differences persist even after accounting for the race and ethnicity of the respondents. While a majority of Americans say that a mostly non-white population will have a positive or neutral impact on the country, there are more people who say that this change will cause more conflict between racial and ethnic groups (49%) than they say it will cause less conflict (26%). And there are more people who say that this will weaken American customs and values (38%) than strengthen them (30%).
White people are more likely than non-whites to say that having a non-white majority population will cause more racial and ethnic conflict (53% versus 42%). Among Republicans, about six out of ten say that having a mostly non-white population will cause more conflicts between racial and ethnic groups and that it will weaken American customs and values (59% say that each of them will happen). Democrats are more divided in these evaluations. When it comes to interracial marriage, opinions do not vary significantly between racial and ethnic groups.
Most adults under 30 view the increase in interracial marriages positively, while older age groups are slightly less likely to agree. Opinions also vary depending on education level and party identification. Nearly two-thirds of adults with a graduate degree say that the increase in interracial marriages is a good thing for the country, compared to 55% of those with a bachelor's degree, 49% of those with some type of college education, and 40% of adults with a high school diploma or less education. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents, about six in ten say it's good for more people of different races to marry each other, particularly among those who describe their political views as liberal. Despite a longer-term downward trend, the share of married adults in the US has been relatively stable in recent years.
However, approximately half of Americans expect this to change, with 53% saying that people will be less likely to get married in 2050 than now. The demographic changes taking place in New York City have far-reaching implications for public policy decisions. It is important for policymakers to take into account public opinion when making decisions about how best to address these changes.