Demography of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography with a Review Essay

Demography of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography with a Review Essay

Demography of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography with a Review Essay

Demography of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the United States: An Annotated Bibliography with a Review Essay

Excerpt

. . . some of the fundamental features of the social structure are measured by facts from population censuses. These facts are the so-called characteristics of the population. Some of them, such as sex and age, are primarily biological, but through their variation from one group or region to another they reflect social realities. Others, such as literacy, religion, caste, birthplace, urbanism, and occupation are more directly social in nature, and consequently throw much light on . . . [a] society. A description of the population is thus at the same time a description of the social order.

Kingsley Davis, 1951

The topic of this volume in general and of this essay in particular is not new. Throughout human history societies and groups have been concerned with their relative population size, whether for purposes of conquest, war, productivity, economic development, or for mere survival of the group. These concerns are reflected in the biblical injunction "to be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:27) and in the Koranic injunction that "Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves; and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers" (Surah 2, Verse 223).

A cursory examination of the literature will show that human history has recorded countless instances (some of them documented in the works cited

I am grateful and indebted to Dr. Larry Long, chief of the Demographic Analysis Staff of the Center for Demographic Studies, U.S. Bureau of the Census, and Dr. Matthew C. Snipp, professor of Social and Ethnic Demography, Department of Sociology, University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland, for their insightful and constructive comments on the original manuscript.

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