FILED IN: News & Politics

White babies now the minority says new census data

Minority births are now the majority in the U.S.

Cultural population shift in the U.S. where white births (non-Hispanic) are now a minority. Photo via Julia Freeman-Woolpert.

For the first time in U.S. history, minority births have surpassed that of non-Hispanic white births in America. According to new census bureau information, minority births rose to 50.4% in 2011. Part of the reason for the demographic change is that Caucasian whites (non-Hispanic) had fewer babies. Minorities also had fewer babies but the drop was not as significant as those within the white population. Another reason is that the white population is growing much older with a significant portion beyond child bearing years while the minority population is much younger, with a median age of 27.6.

The census data also revealed that 3,143 counties within the U.S. have an equal number of whites (non-Hispanic) and minority residents. 348 counties in the U.S. have residents in which minorities are the majority. School age Hispanic children have grown in population, since 2000, by 5 million compared to whites (non-Hispanic) who fell by 3 million. According to the NY Times, the wave of Hispanic immigration over the last decade has largely contributed to the population shift. Also, the Hispanic culture tends to have larger families than white families.

Education has not yet caught up with the changing demographics of the U.S. however. The burden of younger minorities will be supporting a record deficit and a majority of elderly white (non-Hispanic) people. With college educations and degrees obtained by nearly twice as many whites (non-Hispanic) as minorities, it creates a socio-political challenge, one in which politicians are largely ignoring, according to William O’Hare, a consultant to The Annie E. Casey Foundation, an organization that helps disadvantaged youths.