The U.S. is becoming less white.
The population of whites in the United States has fallen below 60% for the first time in the country’s history, the latest census results will reveal. The 2020 Census is due out Thursday.
Another finding shows a majority of people under 18 are non-white. The white population has dropped in 26 states. The decline in the white population, if confirmed on Thursday, has happened about eight years sooner than predicted, said Brookings Institute demographer William Frey, The Washington Post reported.
"Twenty years ago if you told people this was going to be the case, they wouldn’t have believed you," he said, adding that the decrease can be partly attributed to the opioid epidemic and lower-than-anticipated birthrates among millennials after the Great Recession. “The country is changing demographically.”
Frey said the white population could fall below 50% by 2045.
Hispanics and Asians, meanwhile, account for much of the country’s population growth, the New York Post reported. Blacks are expected to remain steady at 12.5% in the 2020 Census results.
The estimations are based on annual updates from the U.S. Census Bureau based on the 2010 data with exact figures for the 2020 Census expected Thursday.
Estimates from 2016 to 2020 show that all of the country’s population growth during that period came from increases in people of color.
The largest and most steady gains were among Hispanics, who have doubled their share over the past three decades to almost 20%. Hispanics are expected to drive about half the growth in population in more than a dozen states, including Texas, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada.
The Asian population could double from 3% to 6% in the 2020 Census.
The states with the most population growth were in the West and the South. Racial minorities will drive all the growth in the US labor force as white baby boomers retire.
The year 2011 was the first year more non-white babies were born than white babies, the Washington Post points out.
Suburbs in the United States are becoming increasingly minority populated. Immigrants are increasingly moving from coastal cities to the interior of the country and the Sun Belt.
The census data is significant because most state legislatures and local governments use it to redraw political districts for the next 10 years. The 2020 Census was delayed by the coronavirus epidemic.
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