Explaining Why Minority Births Now Outnumber White Births

May 17, 2012

The nation’s racial and ethnic minority groups—especially Hispanics—are growing more rapidly than the non-Hispanic white population, fueled by both immigration and births. This trend has been taking place for decades, and one result is the Census Bureau’s announcement today that non-Hispanic whites now account for a minority of births in the U.S. for the first time.

The bureau reported that minorities—defined as anyone who is not a single-race non-Hispanic white—made up 50.4% of the nation’s population younger than age 1 on July 1, 2011. Members of minority groups account for 49.7% of children younger than age 5, the bureau said, and for 36.6% of the total population. The findings are included in the bureau’s first set of national population estimates since the 2010 Census, when 49.5% of babies under age 1 were minorities.

Hispanics are more than a quarter of the nation’s youngest residents, according to the new population estimates, accounting for 26.3% of the population younger than age 1. Among other major non-Hispanic groups, the share for whites is 49.6%; for blacks, 13.7%; and for Asians 4.4%.

Read the full report, Explaining Why Minority Births Now Outnumber White Births, on the Pew Social & Demographic Trends website.

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