Politics is in the air, and for those of us concerned about young children, we must ensure that their needs are on the election year agenda. One look at data from the 2010 U.S. Census highlights the demographic differences between the voting age population and the population of young children, birth to age 5, in Massachusetts.
Almost four-fifths (79%) of the 5.1 million Massachusetts adults, age 18 and older, are non-Hispanic white. Less than two-thirds (63%) of the commonwealth’s 442,592 young children, birth to age 5, are non-Hispanic white, down from 74% in 2000. As the first chart shows, a substantial increase in the proportion of Latino or Hispanic young children is the driving force behind the difference between the adult and young child populations in the commonwealth.
Massachusetts is home to a sophisticated, innovation-based economy that depends on an ongoing pipeline of skilled, well-educated workers. We also have an aging population, with a median age of 39.1, up from 36.5 in 2000. This means voters have a shared interest in preparing all of our children — of all races and ethnicities — to contribute to our economic prosperity and civic vitality.