A Majority-Minority Nation Is Born

You’ve probably heard that in the not-too-distant future, the United States will become a “majority-minority” country—that is, the majority of the population will be made up of non-Hispanic whites. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a milestone in that demographic trend has been reached: for the first time, babies born to mothers of racial or ethnic minorities combined to outnumber those born to whites. The nation’s under-age-five population is also nearing the tipping point, with 49.7 percent belonging to minority groups. The populations of several states—California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas—and of the District of Columbia are already majority-minority. Overall, non-Hispanic whites remain 63.4 percent of the U.S. population.

A variety of factors are responsible for this demographic evolution. Differences in fertility rates, percentages of women of child-bearing age, and age distribution in general between the majority white population and the nation’s minorities are the major contributing factors. Immigration and people’s attitudes toward mixed-race marriage also matter. Some facts of note from the new Census Bureau report:

·         3,940 minority children were born last year for every 1,000 members of a minority group who died in 2011—compared to 1,025 births to 1,000 deaths for the white population;

·         fertility rates (average number of children born per woman) are 2.4 among Hispanics, 2.1 among non-Hispanic blacks, and 1.8 among both non-Hispanic whites and Asian Americans; and

·         minority populations are younger on average than whites, and therefore more likely to be having children.

With non-Hispanic whites having been the majority throughout the nation’s history, this change represents a facelift in U.S. demography; however, it has been long anticipated. When the non-Hispanic white population of America is no longer a majority—projections put this sometime between 2042 and 2050—whites will still be the largest minority. But by that time, the very concept of what constitutes “white” in America may have evolved beyond recognition.

Image credit: © Corbis

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  1. Matthew says:

    There is an error in the article. America always has had a non-Hispanic white majority population. You should have stated that this will soon come to an end.

  2. christina says:


  3. Jaylaaaa=) says:

    Ayeee , Everybodieee …. Stay BLACK !,

  4. savion says: