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The Start of Majority-Minority

Non-Hispanic Whites now account for less than half of new births
  • May 21 2012

The forecast about the U.S. becoming a “majority-minority”—where minority groups account for more than half of the population—is becoming a reality.

For the first time ever, the number of minority births outnumbered the number of births for non-Hispanic Whites in the first set of population estimates issued since the 2010 U.S. census. According to the Census Bureau, 50.4 percent of the country’s population younger than 1 were minorities as of July 1, 2011. This is up from 49.5 percent from the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010.

The population younger than age 5 was 49.7 percent minority in 2011, up from 49.0 percent in 2010. There were 114 million minorities in 2011, or 36.6 percent of the U.S. population. In 2010, it stood at 36.1 percent.

There were four majority-minority states in 2011—Hawaii (77.1 percent minority), California (60.3 percent), New Mexico (59.8 percent) and Texas (55.2 percent)—plus the District of Columbia (64.7 percent).

Among the other findings:

Nationally, the most populous minority group remains Hispanics, who numbered 52 million in 2011; they also were the fastest growing, with their population increasing by 3.1 percent since 2010. This boosted the Hispanic share of the nation's total population to 16.7 percent in 2011, up from 16.3 percent in 2010.

California had the largest Hispanic population of any state on July 1, 2011 (14.4 million), as well as the largest numeric increase within the Hispanic population since April 1, 2010 (346,000). New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanics at 46.7 percent.

African-Americans were the second largest minority group in the United States, at 43.9 million in 2011 (up 1.6 percent from 2010). New York had the largest African-American population (3.7 million), and Texas has the largest numeric increase since 2010 (84,000).

Asians, who numbered 18.2 million nationally in 2011, were the second fastest-growing minority group, growing by 3.0 percent since 2010. California, with 5.8 million Asians, had the highest population in 2011, and the highest numeric increase (131,000)

There was a small uptick in the nation's median age, from 37.2 years in 2010 to 37.3 in 2011. The 65-and-older population increased from 40.3 million to 41.4 million over the period and included 5.7 million people 85 and older.

Maine had a higher median age than any other state (43.2), and Utah had the lowest (29.5). Florida had the highest percentage of its population 65 and older (17.6 percent), followed by Maine (16.3 percent). Utah had the highest percentage of its total population younger than 5 (9.3 percent).


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