Change has come with increasing regularity to west central Minnesota and the rest of America. We are not talking change within or on either side of the politic spectrum, but a change in America of who we are. Otherwise, know as a change in demographics.
There is a demographic change occurring across America and you can see it right in our kindergarten classes, in Willmar and across the country. Any superintendent will tell you, if you want to see the future of your community, look into your local kindergarten classes.
The data shows that demographics are shifting in the United States. The kindergarten class this year is overall less white and less black, and much more Hispanic when compared to kindergarten class of 2000.
Scheduled to graduate in 2022, this year's kindergarten class will consist in one out of four being of Hispanic ethnicity.
The white ethnic sector of kindergarten classes dropped from 59 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2009, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
The Hispanic sector of the kindergarten classes increased from 19 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2009.
This demographic change is nothing new to America as our country has seen such change before.
In the 19th century, first immigrants came from Ireland and China, then from Norway and Sweden, and then from Italy, Poland and Finland.
In the 20th century, immigrants came from across Europe, then Japan and Korea, and then from Vietnam and Laos.
In the 21th century, the immigrants have come from Somalia and other Africa nations.
However, all this demographic change is not just related to immigrants, but various changes in population groups as well as geographic areas of the country.
Our point is that such demographic change has always been a part of America. The ever-changing demographics bring advantages and challenges at the same time.
The fact remains that this demographic change is and always will be part of America's future. How we continually deal with this change will help shape our collective future.