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Whites The New Minority In America In 30 years, Says U.S. Census

Rebecca S. Myles

Latin Post

Dec 16, 2014

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New population projections based on the U.S. Census Bureau show whites will become a minority by 2044.

America will be a nation with a youthful, growing minority population juxtaposed against an aging, slow-growing and soon to be declining white population.

The new projections from U.S. Census Bureau figures shows two trends for America's population -- a long-term decline for the nation's white population, making up just 49.7 percent of the population by 2044, and a growth of new minorities -- Asians, Latinos and multiracial persons. The populations among the rapidly-growing Latinos, Asians and multiracial populations are all expected to double in size over the next 30 years. Specifically, the rise of Latinos is projected to make up 25.1 percent of the U.S. population in 2044, doubling African-Americans.

"The pace of U.S. population growth is slowing, and the population continues to become more diverse," Kenneth Johnson, senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy, told Al Jazeera America. "This will produce a rich tapestry of demographic change in the U.S. over the next several decades."

The other emerging trend is the aging of the white demographic, which by 2060 will make up just 44 percent of the population, of which 55 percent will be 65 years and older. By 2027, more than half of America's 20-somethings will be racial minorities, and in the 2028 presidential election, 40 percent of all eligible voters will be racial minorities.

The population changes are being brought about by the higher birth rates among minority populations, mixed households and more interracial marriages. Against those trends are the declining growth rates and rapid aging of the white population, the result of both lower birth rates among younger white Americans, and the advancing age of the Baby Boom generation.

"Thirty percent of all grandparents in America have a grandchild of a different race or ethnicity, and the diversity in this country is growing in so many ways, we are just starting to get a grasp on those changes," Guy Garcia, president of New Mainstream Initiatives for Ethnifacts, told Latin Post.

"Gay parents, when they adopt, there is a high rate of multicultural adoptions. We have all these new variations and permutations of the American family. It's going to continue to happen, and the highest growth is coming from people of color, but they are mixing and merging and having children with people of every race, and it is going to continue to be that way."

Garcia said technology and social media, with its instantaneous speed and global reach, is enabling new ways of expressing inter-ethnic communities and community that never existed before.

"That hyper-connected future includes Ambiculturals -- people of color who are retaining the values and flavors of their cultural origins as well as their American sensibilities, and fluidly exploring and advancing opportunities of both," Garcia said.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, Garcia said, 9 million people checked multiple identification boxes. They might have checked white, Hispanic or other, and even Census chief Robert Groves said they weren't capturing how people see themselves.

Garcia said self-identification is starting to shift, with some people saying they are 100 percent American and 100 percent Latino or 100 percent Asian, black. and still 100 percent American.

Paul Taylor, in his book "The Next America," said the changes will produce generational competition in future decades over resources and government priorities.

According to the U.S. Census data, later in the 21st century there will be no majority demographic group in the United States.

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