WASHINGTON D.C. (Christian Examiner) – For the first time in 14 years, the U.S. Census Bureau has projected a new record high of foreign-born living in America in the future -- with Asian and Hispanic immigrants topping the list.
In 45 years, by the year 2060, 18.8 percent of U.S. residents will have been born in America. That's up from the previous high of 14.8 percent in 1890, which statistics may pass as early as the year 2025.
"The U.S. today has more immigrants than any other nation," according to a release by the Pew Research organization. "As the nation's immigrant population grows, so too will the number of children who have at least one immigrant parent.
"As of 2012," the release continued, "these second-generation Americans made up 11.5 percent of the population, and that share is expected to rise to 18.4 percent by 2050."
Asian and Hispanic immigrants are projected to continue to be the main sources of U.S. population increase, despite a slowing rate.
Today, 66 percent of immigrants are Asian and 34.9 percent are Hispanic.
What does this mean for churches and the extension of the Gospel message?
Southern Baptist Convention leaders say they are prepared for the steady growth of immigrants, with a report on ethnic diversity presented at its 2011 annual meeting in Phoenix focused on "appointing individuals who represent the diversity within the SBC."
Measures have been set in place to insure the SBC's ethnic churches are not neglected, and to insure a continuing emphasis on starting ethnic churches.
The SBC's North American Mission Board, which covers both the United States and Canada, has ethnic church planters who are starting churches among Polish, Brazilian, Haitian, Romanian, African, Jewish, Chinese and more.
LifeWay Christian Resources, wholly-owned by the SBC, has evangelism and discipleship resources in 20 languages. LifeWay's B&H Publishing Group licenses or publishes products in 25 languages. Southern Baptists speak an estimated 110 languages.
United Methodists reach out to five ethnic communities – Asian, African-American, Hispanic, Korean and Native American – as they promote "unity through diversity."
The Presbyterian Church (USA) plans a major "Ethnic Concerns Consultation Retreat" Oct. 9-11 at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center in Zephyr Cove, near Lake Tahoe in Nevada. This is an event for ethnics and those who want to minister to and with them. It dates to 1973. Among the ethnicities expected to be present: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Black, Native American, Latino, Assyrian and Armenian.