MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Much was made of the shifting demographics during the 2012 presidential election, but that’s only a preview of what’s to come. For the first time ever, America’s racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group, according to the U.S. Census.
The new census estimates are current as of July 2012 and come nearly a year after the government agency reported that whites had fallen to a minority among babies. The Census Bureau said the change was fueled by immigration and high birth rates among minorities.
According to the Census, whites in the under-5 age group will tip to a minority in 2013 or 2014 and within five years, minorities will become the majority of children under the age of 18. Shortly after that, the total U.S. white population will decline in absolute numbers as baby boomers continue to age.
The latest census numbers showed:
- The population younger than 5 stood at 49.9 percent minority in 2012.
- For the first time in more than a century, the number of deaths now exceeds births among white Americans. This “natural decrease” occurred several years before the government’s original projection, a sign of the white population decline soon to arrive. For now, the white population is still increasing slightly, due to immigration from Europe.
- As a whole, the nonwhite population increased by 1.9 percent to 116 million, or 37 percent of the U.S. The fastest percentage growth is among multiracial Americans, followed by Asians and Hispanics. Non-Hispanic whites make up 63 percent of the U.S.; Hispanics, 17 percent; blacks, 12.3 percent; Asians, 5 percent; and multiracial Americans, 2.4 percent.
- About 353 of the nation’s 3,143 counties, or 11 percent, are now “majority-minority.” Six of those counties tipped to that status last year: Mecklenburg, N.C.; Cherokee, Okla.; Texas, Okla.; Bell, Texas; Hockley, Texas; and Terrell, Texas.
- In 2012, 13 states and the District of Columbia had an under-5 age population that was “majority-minority,” up from five states in 2000. In 25 states and the District of Columbia, minorities now make up more than 40 percent of the under-5 group.
- Among the under-5 age group, 22 percent live in poverty, typically in more rural states such as Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Black toddlers were most likely to be poor, at 41 percent, followed by Hispanics at 32 percent and whites at 13 percent. Asian toddlers had a poverty rate of 11 percent.
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