Exploring Popular Sentiments of U.S. Ethnoracial Demographic Change: A Research Brief

Eileen Díaz McConnell, Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyzes July 2021 poll data of more than 5500 California registered voters to examine how a racially diverse sample of people in a politically significant and diverse state feel about U.S. projections of future ethnoracial demographic change. We commissioned and designed two survey questions to build on the few studies that delve into Americans’ sentiments about these projected shifts. The first item offers more response options than past research to explore popular sentiments about national projections of a “majority-minority” future. The second item asks respondents about which areas of society that they think these changes will affect. The descriptive analyses reveal considerable variation in sentiments about projected demographic futures, with many among this racially diverse sample of adults expressing positive views and few expressing negative views. Multivariate regression analyses indicate that racial attitudes and political partisanship are significantly associated with expressing positive, negative, and other sentiments about future ethnoracial diversity. In addition, Californians indicated that these changes are most likely to affect race relations and politics and political power in the future. These findings point to the salience of the sociopolitical and information environment surrounding how people interpret population data and demographic projections, and hopefully encourages more work in popular demography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number98
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • California
  • Census
  • Demographic change
  • Ethnoracial projections
  • Race and ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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