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” From a distance, the small group of Haitian immigrants at the public library looks like a prayer meeting or political gathering. Dressed colorfully but comfortably, the women speak in heavily accented English and sit every day for hours around a small wooden table studying to be nurses.
The library sits at the heart of one of the most diverse counties in the USA. More than 50 languages are spoken in the public schools, and this is what more and more communities across America will look like soon — very soon.
Racial and ethnic diversity is spreading far beyond the coasts and into surprising places across the USA, rapidly changing how Americans live, learn, work and worship together — and even who our neighbors are.
Cities and towns far removed from traditional urban gateways such as New York, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco are rapidly becoming some of the most diverse places in America, an analysis of demographic data by USA TODAY shows.
Small metro areas such as Lumberton, N.C., and Yakima, Wash., and even remote towns and counties — such as Finney County, Kan., or Buena Vista County, Iowa — have seen a stunning surge in immigrants, making those places far more diverse.
The result: For the first time, the next person you meet in this country — at work, in the library, at a coffee shop or a movie ticket line — will probably be of a different race or ethnic group than you.”