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Whites will no longer be the majority in the US by 2043

Published time: December 13, 2012 20:17
Edited time: December 14, 2012 00:17
AFP Photo / Spencer Platt

AFP Photo / Spencer Platt

By 2043, white Americans will no longer comprise a majority of the US population. After the total population exceeds 400 million people, it will be more racially and ethnically diverse as the white population decreases and Hispanics more than double.

“The next half century marks key points in continuing trends – the US will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority,” said Thomas L. Mesenbourg, acting director of the US Census Bureau.

The overall US population is predicted to grow slowly over the next several decades, with the white population projected to peak in 2024 and then fall by 20.6 million from 2024 to 2060, according to the latest population projections by the Census Bureau.

Meanwhile, the Hispanic population will more than double by the year 2043, rising from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. About one third of all Americans will be Hispanic by the end of the period. The black population will also increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million over the same period and the Asian population will likely double from 15.9 million in 2012 to 34.4 million in 2060.

“When the 2020 Census comes around, we’re going to have a majority-minority child population,” William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, told the New York Times.

For the first time in history, the US will become a majority-minority nation in 2043, with no single ethnic or racial group making up the majority.

But at that point, the overall birth rate will also be lower than it is today. By 2056, more Americans will be over the age of 65, outnumbering those who are under the age of 18. Most of those over 65 will be non-Hispanic white, while other races will largely make up the younger population, many of which will be racially mixed.

The higher birth rates among racially diverse individuals will be partially due to waves of immigration, the Pew Research Center reported last month.

Immigrants “tend to have higher shares of women of childbearing age and higher birth rates than the US-born population. Most of the growth in the Latino population and much of the growth in the Asian population will be driven by births rather than immigration. At the same time, the native-born white population is aging, and births to white mothers have been declining,” according to Pew Research.

In a country where racial prejudice still exists, some have begun to question how the prospect of a majority-minority nation would be received. An Associated Press study found that 52 percent of whites expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments in 2011. Hua Hsua, a professor at Vassar College, considered the manifestation of a majority-minority nation in 2009.

What will the new mainstream of America look like, and what ideas or values might it rally around?” he asked in an Atlantic article. “What will it mean to be white after ‘whiteness’ no longer defines the mainstream?”