4 ways the face of America is changing, according to new Census data
The U.S. Census Bureau released new data for 2011 that go a long way in describing the shifts in American demographics. We're becoming more multicultural, we're becoming younger, but only in certain places. In fact, white Americans are becoming less numerous, and certainly as a portion of the school-age group.
New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal, for the first time, that the majority of the babies born in the United States are minorities.
1.) In 2011, more babies were either Black, Hispanic, Asian or some other minority, than were non-Hispanic whites. and that trend isn't expected to reverse itself. While white Americans still make up the single largest racial and ethnic group, they're no longer larger than all the rest combined.
But that's not the only headline from the Census Bureau's report, which describes in statistical detail just how America is changing.
2.) According to the report, for example, the population of American children, those under age 18, actually decreased — by 250,000 in the past 10 years. Where'd they go? They joined the over-85 crowd. Well, not EXACTLY. But the number of Americans 85-plus did increase by roughly that same amount.
The report also underscores the relative youth of the Latino population and the aging of the white population. One demographer pointed out that if the U.S. population were dependent on white births alone, the population would be heading in reverse.
"We'd be dead," he joked.
To cite a specific example, the report found that the number of school-aged Hispanics rose five million over 10 years while the number of non-Hispanic white children of school age declined by three million.
As the country ages, there are fewer people of working age for each of them. Today, there are roughly five people of working age for each person past retirement age. By 2035, that number falls to fewer than three people working for each person in retirement.
That's the dynamic that's impacting the long-term viability of Social Security and Medicare.
3.) The youth isn't evenly spread across the country either. Most of the younger Americans are concentrated in the same area that are home to booming Hispanic populations: the south, and the west.
Four states already have populations that are majority minority: Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas, as well as the District of Columbia.
Utah and Texas have the youngest populations, with Texas adding more Hispanic babies over the last 15 months than any other state.
Mark Fossett, director of the Texas Census Research Data Center, described the shift succinctly.
"If you're 60 years old, this is an Anglo state. That's where you see the wealth, the income, the homeownership, the high voting patterns. Anything else, especially below 18, the school-aged population, looks Latino in Texas," he said.
4.) Beyond Hispanics, though, the Census data also bore out that there is a reverse migration going on in the Black community, with more African-Americans moving back to the South they left behind in various waves after the Civil War.
But it's slowing, the data show, in part because of terrible housing markets in northern big cities.
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