Changing demographics means several SoCal counties are now majority-minority

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Across the country demographics are shifting and California is the poster child.

In the last 18 years, 109 counties in 22 states went from majority white to majority-minority.

That includes Ventura, Orange, and Riverside counties where Latinos make up most of the population.

So what does all of this mean?

We met up with professor of political science and Chicano studies at Loyola Marymount University, Dr. Fernando Guerra.

We sat down with Guerra at Fernando's Restaurant in Downey, where already a vast majority is Latino.

"Here we're sitting in a restaurant that is minority-owned, Peruvian food, and it begins to show the cultural change and the economic change," said Guerra.

He has studied and lived the subject for the last 40 years and was not surprised by Pew Research's findings.

"First you have a demographic shift, 10 to 15 to 20 years later you have political incorporation, 10 to 15 years later you have more economic integration and then 10 to 15 years later you'll have almost complete cultural and social integration," he said.

Change may mean different things to different people.

"The demographic shift has to be handled both by the emerging group but also the descending group."

He cautions it could give way to hostility and racism.

"A sense sometimes of loss. A sense of emerging nationalism oftentimes and we've seen it and we've seen the reaction to that. Let's say in the case of El Paso, that's what the gunman, the mass murderer noted, was changing demographic," Guerra said.

Los Angeles County is a good example of a mostly thriving diverse population, according to Guerra - "in terms of race relations, in terms of political incorporation, in terms of social outreach."

He stresses leaders and elected officials have a responsibility to manage the changes by not seeing minorities simply as a voting block but as part of a community that requires an investment in resources and equity.
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