Idaho may be more like what America was, in some ways, but it’s nonetheless getting more ethnically diverse, according to new numbers out from the state Department of Labor. The Hispanic share of the population now is 12%, compared to 11.2% in 2010. Consider this broader picture: it was 7.9% in 2000, and 5.3% in 1990. That’s some major change in the last quarter-century. On the other hand, the department also offers this tidbit: “Hispanics between the ages of 40 and 64 had the largest numeric increase at 1,889, but the age group over age 65 had the highest growth rate at 8.2 percent. This ethnic section of Idaho’s population is aging slightly faster than the state as a whole.”Share on Facebook
Think about it and it seems increasingly remarkable, and indicative: The first major Spanish-language radio station in the Magic Valley is celebrating its first year in business, and it held a celebratory event at the Jerome County Fair. Okay, fine; no big deal. Except, according to the Twin Falls Times News, “thousands of people” showed up for it. How many businesses, or much of anything else, would draw people by the thousands in an area of that size? (Jerome itself only has but so many thousands of people.) This is speaking pretty strongly both to the numbers of Hispanic people in the Magic Valley, and in Idaho. It also speaks to the culture taking hold there in a serious way.
What people in other countries think of us ought to always be of interest – not by way of telling us what to do, but by way of giving us an alternate lens for how we look at ourselves. Foreign Policy has an amusing article on what other governments tell their citizens about what to watch out for when they visit the United States. It’s definitely a different way of looking at the country than most of us here have (and say a lot about those counties too).Share on Facebook