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Cultural Diversity

Minnesota’s population continues to become more diverse at the same time it is aging. By 2025, the Minnesota Department of Human Services forecasts large increases in elderly populations for ethnically and racially diverse minorities. Any discussion of aging clearly must include perspectives from these groups.

The sheer number of persons over 65 adds to the challenges that communities face worldwide. By 2030, one in every eight persons globally, or 1 billion people, will be 65 or older. In the U.S. generally and Minnesota specifically, the population’s growth follows this trend.

Adding to the complexity of planning for an aging population, the ethnic and racial diversity of those aged 65 and older is also increasing. While the projected growth of these populations brings some challenges, they also offer opportunities for a culturally stimulating environment and possibilities for exciting solutions in the quest for vital aging.

A greater understanding of different races and ethnicities will help us in our efforts to build a vital future for all groups.


This section includes the following pages:

  • Building Cultural Competence - Professor Hee Yun Lee, Ph.D., at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, has been researching the need for health literacy and cultural competency when working or interacting with diverse older adults in the community. The article offers a summary of her educational module related to Hmong culture.
  • Cultural Etiquette for Interacting with Traditional Hmong
    - The Hmong Cultural Center has created a few tips to help you communicate with the Hmong in a respectful way.


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