Go Figure - Measuring progress on diversity

A colorful bar graph

In the 1990s, the General Assembly set two diversity goals: increasing the racial ethnic (nonwhite) share of the membership to 10 percent by 2005 and to 20 percent by 2010. How are we doing?

- from the August 2010 issue of Presbyterians Today magazine.

In 1999, the earliest year with near-complete racial ethnic data for all congregations, 6.4 percent of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) members were racial ethnic.

By 2005 that share had grown to 8.1 percent, and by 2008 to 8.6 percent.

Numerically, racial ethnic membership grew from 169,000 in1999 to 187,000 in 2006, before dropping slightly to 184,000 in 2008.

Growth has occurred in most racial ethnic groups the PC(USA) tracks, with the Asian share going from 2.3 percent in 1999 to 3.3 percent in 2008; the share of blacks, from 2.8 to 3.3 percent; of Hispanics, 1.1 to 1.4 percent; and of “other,” 0.2 to 0.3 percent. Native Americans, the exception, have remained stable (0.3 to 0.3 percent).

Based on current trends, the racial ethnic membership share will reach 9.2 percent by 2010 and 10 percent by 2014, but will not reach 20 percent until around 2060.

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