I’ve written a lot about changing demographics over the years, and here’s some news that we’ve known was coming for a long time.
From the U.S. Census’ Most Children Younger Than Age 1 are Minorities, Census Bureau Reports:
The U.S. Census Bureau today released a set of estimates showing that 50.4 percent of our nation’s population younger than age 1 were minorities as of July 1, 2011. This is up from 49.5 percent from the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010. A minority is anyone who is not single-race white and not Hispanic.
The population younger than age 5 was 49.7 percent minority in 2011, up from 49.0 percent in 2010. A population greater than 50 percent minority is considered “majority-minority.”
These are the first set of population estimates by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex since the 2010 Census. They examine population change for these groups nationally, as well as within all states and counties, between Census Day (April 1, 2010) and July 1, 2011. Also released were population estimates for Puerto Rico and its municipios by age and sex.
There were 114 million minorities in 2011, or 36.6 percent of the U.S. population. In 2010, it stood at 36.1 percent.
There were five majority-minority states or equivalents in 2011: Hawaii (77.1 percent minority), the District of Columbia (64.7 percent), California (60.3 percent), New Mexico (59.8 percent) and Texas (55.2 percent). No other state had a minority population greater than 46.4 percent of the total.
From the New York Times:
While over all, [non-Hispanic] whites will remain a majority for some time, the fact that a younger generation is being born in which minorities are the majority has broad implications for the country’s economy, its political life and its identity. “This is an important tipping point,” said William H. Frey, the senior demographer at the Brookings Institution, describing the shift as a “transformation from a mostly white baby boomer culture to the more globalized multiethnic country that we are becoming.”
Signs that the country is evolving this way start with the Oval Office, and have swept hundreds of counties in recent years, with 348 in which whites are no longer in the majority. That number doubles when it comes to the toddler population, Mr. Frey said. Whites are no longer the majority in four states and the District of Columbia, and have slipped below half in many major metro areas, including New York, Las Vegas and Memphis.
A more diverse young population forms the basis of a generational divide with the country’s elderly, a group that is largely white and grew up in a world that was too.
As noted in the NYT piece, the U.S. has a pretty sorry track record of educating minority students, which will obviously have to change.
And as noted in the piece, the increase in minority births is vital to keep the nation from becoming too “top heavy”, with a disproportionate number of older Americans not in the workforce compared to younger Americans who are working.
In Georgia, over 70% of residents over 65 are non-Hispanic white, but less than 45% of children 5 and under are non-Hispanic white.
Obviously, this also has profound political implications: if the Republican Party does not attract larger numbers of minority supporters, it will face daunting odds in the future.