ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – For the generation of Americans who are not old enough to drive, the demographic future has arrived.
For the first time, non-whites and Hispanics were the majority of people under the age of 16 in 2019, an expected demographic shift that will increase in the coming decades, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“We are tanning from bottom to top in our age structure,” said William Frey, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution. “This is going to be a diversified century for the United States, and it starts with this youngest generation.”
At the same time, the number of non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. has declined over the past decade as deaths outnumbered births in this aging demographic, according to the Census Bureau’s population estimates.
Since 2010, the number of whites who are not Spanish has fallen by more than 16,600 people. But the decline has escalated in the past three years, with the number of non-Hispanic whites decreasing by more than half a million people from 2016 to 2019, according to the Census Bureau’s population estimates.
In 2019, just under 40% of the total U.S. population was non-white or Hispanic. Non-Hispanic whites are expected to be a minority of the U.S. population in about 25 years.
A natural decrease in the number of deaths exceeding birth, plus a slowdown in immigration to the US, has contributed to the population decline since 2010 for non-Hispanic whites, whose median age of 43.7 was by far the highest last year from every demographic. If these numbers apply to the 2020 census that is now being conducted, it is the first time since the first ten-year census in 1790 that there has been a national decrease in whites, Frey said.
“It’s getting older. We haven’t had much immigration, of course, that’s gone down, “said Frey.” White fertility has declined. ‘
In fact, the decline in the number of births among the white population has led to a decline in the number of people under the age of 18 over the past decade, a decline exacerbated by the fact that the much larger millennial cohort from that group has aged, replaced by a smaller generation Z.
In the past decade, Asians had the highest growth rate of any demographic, with an increase of nearly 30%. Almost two-thirds of that growth was due to international migration.
The Latin American population has grown by 20% since 2010, with nearly three quarters of that growth due to a natural increase that occurs when more people are born than die.
The black population grew by nearly 12% in the past decade and the white population by 4.3%.
The country’s seniors have grown since 2010 when baby boomers grew older in that target audience, with the number of people over 65 increasing by more than a third. Seniors in 2019 made up more than 16% of the U.S. population, compared to 13% in 2010.
In four states – Maine, Florida, West Virginia, and Vermont – seniors accounted for 20% of the population. That’s a measure the total U.S. population will reach by 2030.
“The first baby boomers reached the age of 65 in 2011,” said Luke Rogers, head of the Census Bureau’s Population Estimation Unit. “No other age group saw such a rapid increase.”
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