People of Color: Their Contributions, Their Potential

Third-grade students do school work during class at Hanby Elementary School in Mesquite, Texas, February 2011.

    As more attention is paid to the nation’s demographic changes, equal attention should be paid to the progress and contributions that people of color make as they become a greater share of the population. While communities of color have historically faced significant challenges on many fronts, the reality is that there has been important progress across a range of indicators, particularly in the past few decades.

    The following fact sheets spotlight the tremendous potential and opportunity that people of color bring to the table, as well as the increasingly important role that they will play as they grow in number and influence:

    The growth of people of color in the United States—their innovation, resilience, and desire to succeed—presents an opportunity to significantly boost the nation’s global competitiveness. This demographic shift also affords the United States an unprecedented opportunity to expand our nation’s growth, particularly if policymakers undertake serious efforts to close the country’s wealth and racial gaps. As the data in the accompanying fact sheets demonstrate, there is a compelling story of progress and aspiration that could be even more powerful if the right kind of policies were enacted—progressive polices that could and would increase educational attainment, wages, and employment for all people of color and provide economic benefits not just to people of color but also to the entire American economy.