Declining white population is spawning fears, bias

New America Media

I don't use these words lightly - this is a must read.

Over the last three decades, demographers have told us that there would come a day when the declining white population would become less than half of the U.S. population. The first of these expectations is now here, about a decade earlier than projected.

Mid-year population projections, prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau, indicate that there were nearly 32,000 fewer whites in the nation in 2017 than in 2016, a reduction of 0.02 percent. The white population decrease resulted from natural decline (approximately 178,000 more deaths than births), though 146,000 whites migrating from outside of the country. While the addition of multiracial individuals who identify white as one of their races creates white population gain, it is only an increase of 144,000, the smallest absolute change among single-race and multiple-race whites over the last decade.

These patterns are consistent with a study that my colleague, Kenneth Johnson from the University of New Hampshire, and I, published recently. Our research shows that there are 26 states now that have more white deaths than births, including nine of the largest 15 states in the country: California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, Arizona and Massachusetts.

States where white deaths outnumber births have a higher share of their population being 65 and older, relatively low birth rates, and a shrinking portion of women capable of giving birth. Put simply, with an overall median age of 45, an aging white population produces more deaths than births.

These trends suggest that by 2045, perhaps even sooner, whites will no longer be the numerical majority, quite a difference from 1940 when whites accounted for 88.3 percent of the U.S. population.

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