The majority of Americans will not be white by 2045, according to data that highlights the US’ increasingly diverse population.
An analysis of census data by the think-tank Brookings Institution estimates that white people will comprise less than 50 percent of the US population for the first time in history in little over two decades.
The majority of the population will be made up of minority ethnicities: 24.6 percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.9 percent for Asians, and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations.
Immigration and an increase in interracial couples are fueling the shift in a new era of so-called majority-minority population.
The US will become minority white in 2045, at which point whites will comprise 49.7 percent of the population in contrast to 24.6 percent for Hispanics, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.9 percent for Asians, and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations
The white population will see a long-term decline through 2060, a consequence of more deaths than births
The white population is growing among older Americans as the predominantly-white Baby Boomer generation ages.
But the share of white people in the population is shrinking with younger generations, making Gen Z the last generation to be majority-white.
Racial minorities make up over half of Americans aged zero to 17.
Of that majority-minority population, Latino or Hispanic people make up the largest share at slightly over 25 percent.
Brookings researcher William Frey, who carried out the analysis using 2020 census data, said the growing population of racial minority groups, especially Latino and Asian Americans, has compensated for the ‘aging and now declining white population’ in young people and those in the labor force.
The latest census data shows that the older population has climbed to nearly 56 million, up from 40 million a decade before.
At the same time, 2020 saw an overall decline in the number of children under 18 in the US population by about a million, which experts attributed to overall declining birth rates.
The baby boomer population is about three-quarters white, which has meant that the white-only population was the oldest of all racial groups per the 2020 census.
Still, the white alone non-Hispanic population makes up the largest share of the overall US population at about 58 percent. Notably, this was down from about 64 percent in 2010.
The shrinking white population with age can be explained both by higher levels of immigration when people are in their prime working age as well as an influx of immigrant women of childbearing age.
Nonwhite people accounted for the greatest population growth in the generations that followed the baby boomers, or people who were born in the mid-1940s to the 1960s and drastically drove up birth rates in the US in the years after World War II.
The 65- and older age group is growing more rapidly than any other, and is the only age group whose white population is expected to grow between now and 2045 and beyond, according to analyses from the Brookings Institution.
By 2060, the census projects whites will comprise only 36 percent of the under-age 18 population, with Hispanics accounting for 32 percent.
Changing demographic patterns in the US have led to a ‘racial generation gap’ in which the younger population, influenced by immigration in recent decades, is far more diverse than older generations.
Shifting tides in the US’ demographic makeup has become a cultural lightning rod in the US and Western cultures more broadly, triggering heated debates about a nation’s identity, social norms, and political representation.
By 2060, the nation’s seniors will still be over half white though the census projects whites will comprise only 36 percent of the under age 18 population
White Americans make up 57.8 percent of the country, according to the data that was released on Thursday, a decrease of over 6 percent since 2010. That is the number of people who replied ‘white alone, non Hispanic or Latino’ to the survey. Another group who just answered ‘white alone’ make up 61 percent of the country, according to a data map.
In 2018, foreign-born adults made up nearly 66 percent of the US labor force compared to a lower 62 percent rate for adults born in the US, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.