A Plural America Within Sight

Within three decades, there will no longer be a majority racial or ethnic group in the Unites States according to new Census Bureau projections released this week. Among the other findings: the country is growing slower than expected.

December 13, 2012, 12:00 PM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Michael Cooper reports on the first set of projections issued by the Census Bureau based on the 2010 Census results. “The next half century marks key points in continuing trends — the U.S. will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority,” the bureau’s acting director, Thomas L. Mesenbourg, said in a statement.

"The new projections — the first set based on the 2010 Census — paint a picture of a nation whose post-recession population is growing more slowly than anticipated, where the elderly are expected to make up a growing share of the populace, and that is rapidly becoming more racially and ethnically diverse," says Cooper. "All of these trends promise to shape the nation’s politics, economics and culture in the decades to come."

While the Bureau has had to revise previous growth projections to account for decreasing birth and immigration rates, "[t]he diversity of the nation’s children is increasing even faster than was previously expected, said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. 'When the 2020 Census comes around, we’re going to have a majority-minority child population,' he said in an interview."

"The Census Bureau expects that moment to come in 2018, several years earlier than it previously predicted. The bureau predicts that by 2043 — which is a year later than it previously projected — there will be no single majority group in the country as a whole, as the share of non-Hispanic whites falls below 50 percent."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 in The New York Times

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