Population Group Median Age

Population Group Median Age

2000 Census 2010 Census

American Indian alone 27.7 years 31.0 years Asian alone 32.5 years 35.5 years Black alone 30.0 years 32.5 years Hispanic 25.8 years 27.2 years White alone—not of Hispanic heritage 38.6 years 39.8 years Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders 26.8 years 28.6 years 2 or more races 19.8 years 19.7 years Total Population 35.3 years 36.5 years

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. (2001). Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2009- asrh.html, December 16, 2011; U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). American Community Survey. Retrieved from http:// factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?fpt=table, December 16, 2011.



48 ■ Chapter 3

April 1, 2000 through July 1, 2006 supersede all previous estimates produced since Census 2000. On March 30, 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau submitted to Congress the subjects it planed to address in the 2010 Census, which include gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship, and whether you own or rent your home. It was estimated that the questions will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The 2010 Census was one of the shortest and easiest to complete since the nation’s first census in 1790. There is also a yearly American Com- munity Survey, which eliminates the need for a long-form questionnaire and provides key socioeconomic and housing data about the nation’s rapidly chang- ing population. The information required for the census was to be mailed in by April 1, 2010. A census enumerator interviewed the residents who did not sub- mit their census forms during the months of May and June 2010. This measure was taken in order to ensure as complete a count as possible.

■ Immigration Immigrants and their descendants constitute most of the population of the United States, and Americans who are not themselves immigrants have ances- tors who came to the United States from elsewhere. The only people consid- ered native to this land are the American Indians, the Aleuts, and the Inuit (or Eskimos), for they migrated here thousands of years before the Europeans (Thernstrom, 1980, p. vii).

Immigrants come to the United States seeking religious and political free- dom and economic opportunities. The life of the immigrant is fraught with difficulties—going from an “old” to a “new” way of life, learning a new lan- guage, and adapting to a new climate, new foods, and a new culture. Socializa- tion of immigrants occurs in American public schools, and Americanization, according to Greeley (1978), is for some a process of “vast psychic repression,” wherein one’s language and other familiar trappings are shed. In part, the con- cept of the melting pot has been created in schools, where children learn Eng- lish, reject family traditions, and attempt to take on the values of the dominant culture and “pass” as Americans (Novak, 1973). This difficult experience, as noted and described by Greeley and Novak in the 1970s, continues today.

A citizen of the United States is a native-born, foreign-born child of citi- zens, or a naturalized person who owes allegiance to the United States and who is entitled to its protection. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. A refugee is any person who is outside his or her country of nationality and who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well- founded fear of persecution. Persecution or the fear thereof must be based on the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. People with no nationality must generally be outside their country of last habitual residence to qualify as a refugee. Refugees are subject to ceilings by geographic area set annually by the president in consultation with Congress and are eligible to adjust to lawful permanent resident status after 1 year of continuous presence in the United States. A permanent resident alien

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