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1 OKLAHOMA KIDS COUNT ISSUE BRIEF 2013 Voices for Oklahoma s Future N. Classen Blvd., Suite 101 Oklahoma City, OK (405) [KIDS] Changing Demographics: A Catalyst for a Pro-Growth Oklahoma With the notable exception of the migration of Oklahomans to California during the Dust Bowl years in the 1930 s, the story of Oklahoma has been a story of people coming to the state. Whether their journey to Oklahoma was the harsh and tragic Trail of Tears, or the Land Run with its promise of a homestead and a new start, the people who came to Oklahoma over the generations worked hard to build the state and create a better future for themselves, their children, and their families. Today, that same spirit of hard work and hope of creating a better future continues to be Oklahoma s story for economic growth and prosperity. Changing Demographics: Why It Matters This issue brief, Changing Demographics: A Catalyst for a Pro-Growth Oklahoma, was prepared by Oklahoma KIDS COUNT, a project of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, thanks to the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The purpose of this issue brief is to provide a picture of the state s population as compared to a decade ago, and how the population changes can be leveraged as a resource for economic growth. In particular, the report focuses on the changing demographics related to the children of immigrant families, and the potential those changes hold for Oklahoma s future workforce and economy. Today, Oklahoma s youngest residents its children (under age 18) comprise 25% of the state s 3.8 million residents and are the most racially/ethnically diverse generation ever. Understanding the potential of our changing demographics is imperative as we seek practical, cost-effective ways to ensure that all of Oklahoma s children and families have the opportunity to achieve economic well-being and contribute to our state. When our state s children and families thrive, we ensure that Oklahoma s workforce and economy will thrive for years and generations to come. National Picture Our country s changing demographics are related to immigration. Much of the present immigration discussion at the federal level has focused on the serious issues of border control, law enforcement, and national security. At the heart of the immigration discussion in states and communities is the issue of the children of immigrant families. The term children in immigrant families is defined as people under the age of 18 who were born outside of the U.S., or far more commonly today, were born in the U.S. but have at least one parent who was born outside of the U.S. Between 1990 and 2010, the number of children in immigrant families in the U.S. doubled from 8.3 million to 16 million. The vast majority of the children are U.S. citizens who were born in the United States to foreign-born parents, primarily born in Mexico, other Latin American countries, or Asia. Though sometimes portrayed with negative images in the media, immigrant families bring many strengths and positive contributions family stability, strong work ethic, youthful population, and cohesive communities.

2 Immigration and Workforce Realities Most of the growth of the U.S. labor force over the next 40 years will come from immigrants, dramatically changing the demographics of the U.S. workforce. Research shows that as the older, predominantly white workforce retires in the coming years, it will be replaced by younger, minority workers Hispanic, Asian, or mixed race. Workforce growth from the children of immigrants will be critical to support the large Baby Boomer generation in retirement. At the start of the 21st century, there were ten children to one senior. By 2030, population estimates place that ratio close to one child to one senior, not a ratio that can sustain the Social Security and Medicare costs of our aging population. The most rapidly increasing immigrant populations in the U.S. are from Mexico and Central America. Children of this group have lower grades, lower high school graduation rates, and lower college attainment. Second-generation Latinos who account for the majority of children in immigrant families are projected to make up nearly a quarter (23%) of the labor force growth between 2000 and This means, unless greater workforce training and career opportunities are available, the fastest growing segment of our population will be the least prepared for the future workforce needs beyond low-skill, low-paying jobs, which will not keep the U.S. competitive in the global marketplace. Oklahoma s Changing Demographics Oklahoma s population is changing. It is in the state s best interest to make policy decisions based on facts, not myths and misconceptions. The Annie E. Casey Foundation s KIDS COUNT Data Center provides current data (2011) about the children in immigrant families that can inform policy discussions: Just over one in ten (12%) of Oklahoma s children live in families with at least one immigrant parent, compared to one in four (24%) in the U.S. Children in immigrant families, by the parents region of origin: Two-thirds (68%) are from Latin America, followed by Asia (17%), Europe (6%), and Africa (4%). Over half (54%) of children in immigrant families have parents who are U.S. citizens. Over four out of every five (86%) children in immigrant families are U.S. citizens. Seven in ten (70%) children in immigrant families have parents who have lived in the U.S. for 10 or more years. Oklahoma children in immigrant families are more likely than children in native-born parent families to live in two-parent households (84% to 70%). Children in immigrant families in Oklahoma are more likely to live in poverty than children with native-born parents (31% versus 22%). Oklahoma children in immigrant families are more likely to live in low-income working households, compared to children in U.S.-born families (46% to 26%). Demographic Changes Among Oklahoma s Children, 2000 to 2010 Among all Oklahoma children, ages 17 and younger, the percent living in poverty increased from one in five (20%) to one in four (25%) between 2000 and The percentage of Hispanic children nearly doubled between 2000 (8%) and 2010 (14%), and it has doubled since 2000, when compared to the 2012 population estimates (17%) Children, age , ,314 and younger Non-Hispanic White 68% 56% African American 10% 8% American Indian Asian/Pacific Islander 1% 2% Hispanic 8% 14% Other single race 3% 0.5% Two or more races 7% 9% Percent of children 20% 25% living in poverty* (*) Note: Poverty is defined as earnings of $22,350 for a family of four (2011). The federal poverty measure was set in 1960s and is far below the real costs of supporting a family of four today. Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data Center Oklahoma s Changing Demographics 2

3 Oklahoma s Hispanic population is growing, with the children in immigrant families the fastest-growing segment of the state s future workforce. Oklahoma s Hispanic Population 2010: At a Glance This fastest-growing segment of the state s future workforce brings positive contributions stable families, youth, and homeownership. They also bring workforce challenges that need attention, including strategies to help them move out of poverty and into the middle class with jobs that provide access to health insurance. Hispanic Population 32,000 Hispanics as Percent of State Population 9% Median Age of Hispanics 23 Median Annual Personal Earnings, $18,000 Hispanics age 16 and older Hispanic Poverty Rate, age 17 and younger 38% Hispanics without Health Insurance 39% Hispanic Homeownership 49% Hispanics as a Percent of All K-12 Students 13% Source: Hispanic Center, Pew Research Center Hispanic Population Growth in Oklahoma The Hispanic population comprises most of the first and second generation immigrant population in Oklahoma, with the children being one of the fastest growing segments of that population. In 2010, over half (53%) of Oklahoma s Hispanic population lived in the two counties with metropolitan areas: Oklahoma and Tulsa. The non-metro county with the highest percentage of Hispanic population was Texas County (Guymon), with 42% Hispanic residents. Oklahoma City Tulsa Public Schools Public Schools Total Enrollment, *: 39,843 40,171 Hispanic 48% 28% African American 26% 28% Non-Hispanic White 18% 28% American Indian 4% 7% Asian/Pacific Islander 2% 1% Mixed Race/Other 2% 8% *Enrollment figures as of October 1, 2012; not total school-year enrollment. The dramatic increases in the Hispanic population that have been occurring over the past decade have been most visible in local school districts. During the school year, over four out of every five students (82%) in the Oklahoma City Public School District were from minority racial and ethnic populations, with Hispanic students comprising nearly half (48%) of the enrollment. 3

4 Oklahoma s Demographic Changes in the Hispanic Population, 2000 to 2010 What the data tells us: The number and percentage of Hispanics has been increasing in counties across the state over the past decade. Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties, representing the metropolitan areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, have the largest numbers of Hispanics, followed by the counties of Cleveland (Norman), Comanche (Lawton), and Texas (Guymon). Among rural counties, Texas County has the largest number and percentage of Hispanics. Increase 2000 to 2010 Total Hispanic Hispanics as % (Percentage - Number) Population 2010 Total Population State of Oklahoma 46% 152, ,007 9% Counties with 100% or higher increase in Hispanic population, from 2000 to 2010 Blaine 262% 2,080 2,873 24% Bryan 118% 1,140 2,107 5% Canadian 130% 4,408 7,794 7% Cleveland 113% 9,496 17,892 7% Craig 107% % Ellis 137% % Garfield 124% 2,966 5,353 9% Harper 221% % Kingfisher 110 % 1,061 2,022 13% Logan 120% 1,183 2,170 5% Payne 104% 1,537 2,990 4% Rogers 150% 1,935 3,229 4% Wagoner 143% 2,051 3,488 5% Woodward 138% 1,232 2,128 Source: U.S. Census 2000 and 2010; Hispanic Center, Pew Research Center Oklahoma s immigrant population makes significant contributions to the state economy, and these families are deeply woven into the fabric of our communities. Oklahoma s Changing Demographics 4

5 Counties with largest number of Hispanic residents, 1990, 2000, Hispanics as % of 2010 County Population Oklahoma 25,452 57, ,543 15% Tulsa 11,958 33,616 66,582 Cleveland 4,655 8,396 17,892 7% Comanche 6,923 9,675 13,896 Texas 1,634 6,003 8,659 42% Canadian 1,921 3,386 7,794 7% Jackson 3,325 4,446 5,538 21% Garfield 1,086 2,387 5,353 9% Custer 1,625 2,361 3,830 14% Muskogee 873 1,857 3,688 5% Wagoner 638 1,437 3,488 5% LeFlore 419 1,849 3,454 7% Rogers 618 1,294 3,229 4% A n educated, healthy workforce is essential to fuel Oklahoma s economy. U nless greater workforce training and career opportunities are available, the fastest growing segment of our population will be the least prepared for the future workforce. Counties where Hispanics were 10% or greater, as a percentage of the total county population (2010) Texas 42% Kingfisher 13% Harmon 26% Beckham 12% Blaine 24% Love 12% Tillman 22% Comanche Cimarron 21% Tulsa Jackson 21% Woodward Beaver 20% Caddo 10% Harper 18% Greer 10% Oklahoma 15% Source: Hispanic Center, Pew Research Center (www.pewhispanic.org) 5

6 Immigrants Vital to Oklahoma s Economy Recent studies have highlighted the fact that Oklahoma s immigrant population is making significant contributions to the state s economy and many are families that are deeply woven into and strengthen the fabric of our communities. Investing in the education and well-being of Oklahoma s immigrant children will increase their contribution to the state s workforce, economic growth, job creation, and future. The main question for Oklahoma s policymakers, business leaders, educators, and citizens: Are we going to perpetuate child poverty and an economy based on a low-skilled, low-wage workforce, or strengthen the state s future prosperity potential by investing in the educational and economic advancement for all of Oklahoma s children and families? Practical, cost-effective investments in four core areas will help more immigrant children and their families achieve economic well-being and move into the middle class: EMPLOYMENT ESSENTIAL FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT AND INCREASING THE STATE S TAX BASE Training and skill development for youth and their parents that leads to higher wages and stable employment Mentoring, summer employment, and internships for youth Outreach by Career Tech Centers, community colleges, universities, and other training programs to increase career awareness for children and youth Increased STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) training Opportunities for education and skill development that lead to careers in Oklahoma s high wage industries, including energy, aerospace, technology, bioscience, and manufacturing Support for entrepreneurial and job creation opportunities EDUCATION ESSENTIAL FOR ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT AND JOB CREATION Early childhood care and education School readiness and learning success Emphasis on reading proficiency in early grades English language programs and support for bi-lingual language skills Afterschool and summer learning experiences Dropout prevention Re-engagement of youth who are not in school or the workforce High school graduation College or other career training beyond high school Oklahoma s Changing Demographics 6

7 C hildren in immigrant families -- the fastest-growing segment of our state s future workforce -are falling behind in education, health, employment skills, and life opportunities, but that does not have to be Oklahoma s final story. FAMILY STABILITY and ECONOMIC WELL-BEING HEALTH ESSENTIAL TO REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS AND INCREASE WORKFORCE PRODUCTIVITY ESSENTIAL TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE English language training (parents/ other adults) School and community involvement Civic engagement and responsibility Homeownership Caring for the needs of children, to increase the parents ability to support their families and be productive employees Access to health care and services Health promotion and education Physical activity and exercise Good nutrition, reducing food insecurity Stable employment that supports the family s needs Safety Prevention of teen pregnancy Prevention of adolescent health-risk behaviors Opportunities for job advancement to climb the economic ladder and, for low income families, the ability to move into the middle class 7

8 Oklahoma s Story: The Next Chapter An educated, healthy workforce is essential to fuel Oklahoma s economy today and in the future. A skilled workforce is needed to fill critical jobs in energy, technology, health care, medicine, education, and aerospace, as well as create new businesses and services. Oklahoma s children in immigrant families a fast growing segment of our state s future workforce are falling behind in education, health, employment skills, and life-enhancing opportunities, but that does not have to be Oklahoma s story. In many ways, the story and success of our country and our state has been the story of people who sought opportunity and worked hard to improve the future of their families and communities. Oklahoma s changing demographics offers the chance to write its next chapter. Whether it will be a story of increased prosperity or increased poverty depends upon how the state responds to the needs of its children, all of its children. Changing demographics will be a catalyst for a pro-growth Oklahoma, if we: Invest in education reforms that aim to put children on a path to reading at grade level by the third grade and graduating high school on time. Protect tax credits that incentivize working parents and allow children to attend quality child care. Save early intervention initiatives that give low income parents the tools to give their child a healthy start and show up to school ready to learn. Resource Links Annie E. Casey Foundation: Brookings Institute: KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation: Oklahoma KIDS COUNT, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy: Pew Hispanic Center, Pew Research Center: U.S. Census Bureau: Acknowledgement The Changing Demographics: A Catalyst for a Pro-Growth Oklahoma initiative was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation./KIDS COUNT. Prepared by: Sharon Rodine, M.Ed., Youth Initiatives Director, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy; special thanks to Amber England for her assistance. The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is the state s most experienced nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to creating awareness, taking action and changing policy on behalf of children. For the issue brief, factsheet, and video on changing demographics and other child-focused advocacy information, visit Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy 3909 N. Classen Blvd., Suite 101 Oklahoma City, OK (405) [KIDS]

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