According to a recent cover story inUSA Today, we’re at a profound shift in the nation's social, cultural, geographic, racial and ethnic fabric.

According to a cover story published inUSA Today,the end of the first decade of the 21st century marks a major change in “the nation's social, cultural, geographic, racial and ethnic fabric.” The article reports the shift being so profound that it reveals an America that seemed unlikely a mere 20 years ago-one that will influence the nation for years to come in everything from who is elected to run the country, states and cities to what type of houses will be built and where."

One of the most significant shifts has been toward ethnic diversity, which seems to have happened faster than experts predicted. The article goes on to say that a most significant demographic trend of the past 20 years is the explosive growth of Hispanics. Now at 50 million-almost one in six Americans-Hispanics have more than doubled their numbers in 1990.

The Hispanic boom spread far beyond traditional immigrant gateways like California and Florida, and is altering the American landscape in states such as Kansas and North Carolina.