Big Shift in Patient Demographics: Does it Matter to You?

In December 2012, the United States Census Bureau released its long-term demographic projections. It revealed a fundamental shift in the US population among various ethnicity groups. The released projections included the following findings:

  • By 2043, the non-Hispanic White population will no longer make up the majority of Americans.
  • Intermarriage for first- and second-generation Hispanics and Asians is on the rise, causing a blur in racial and ethnic lines and increasing the number of individuals who identify themselves as multiracial.
  • Children of immigrants are the fastest-growing demographic group.
  • Moving forward, the United States will become the first major post-industrial society in the world where minorities will be the majority.
  • Among children, the point when minorities become the majority is expected to arrive much sooner, in 2019.

What are the implications for orthodontic practice owners? It likely depends on how much longer you plan to practice. If you are at the beginning of your orthodontic practice career or envision working for 30 more years, the implications of the minority friendliness of your practice, your market strategic and target marketing will be significant.

In 2012, for the first time, racial and ethnic minorities became a majority of babies under age one for the first time in United States history. Ten years from now, this group will be the majority of children in braces.

Perhaps it’s time to step back and ask, “How minority friendly is my practice?” That is a good starting point to begin thinking about and planning for the changing patient demographic that could be your practice’s reality in ten years.

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