A reshaping of small towns in the U.S. is taking place regardless if people are ready or not for it. Who would have thought that in a Midwestern town someone would be listening to mariachi music and sipping a tasty horchata. In Marshalltown, Iowa that is just what they do in restaurant Mexico Antiguo.
About 133 miles away, Postville High School has a photo in its hallway case taken in 1903 of students who were obviously of European descent. Fast forward to today and you will notice the students that roam the hallways no longer resemble those in the photo. Today Postville, Iowa has a population of 2,227, of which 33% of them are Hispanic.
In downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, it is not uncommon to see signs advertising in Spanish next to those trying to get someone’s attention in English. The population of Hispanics in Charlotte has increased by 153% over the last 10 years. In Francis Scott Key School, in the city of Arlington, Virginia, young blue-eyed, blonde haired children recite perfect Spanish. They are taking total immersion course in the language.
This change in America’s small towns can also be seen in America’s large cities and is changing the way American’s think and live, as well as shaping the people who run for office in local, state and federal elections. The melting pot that is the United States is just becoming more diverse. Instead of the majority of immigrants arriving from Europe, they are arriving both legally and illegally from south of the border.
Even though 50% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. lives in just 10 large metropolitan areas, close to 66% of the increase in Hispanic population over the last 10 years has taken place in places outside those 10 areas.