The proportion of the white population in the United States is declining faster than expected. According to an analysis by the Brookings Institution think tank, based on data from the United States Census Bureau (USCB), the period between 2010 and 2020 will be the first decade in which the total number of whites in the United States declined. Therefore, they could become a minority in the USA sooner than expected, says Czech economist Lukáš Kovanda.
Between 2010 and 2019, the US population growth was driven exclusively by racial and ethnic minorities. In a lot of states, where the dying out of the white population would lead to an overall decline, minorities still ensured population growth.
Back in the 1980s, whites accounted for almost 80 percent of the total population, Blacks for 11.5 percent, Hispanics 6.5 percent, and Asians around 1.8 percent.
In 2019, according to the analysis, the share of the white population decreased to 60.1 percent. Over the same period, the share of Americans of Latin American and Hispanic descent rose the most from all minorities, from 6.5 to 18.5 percent. The share of the Asian American population grew from 1.8 to almost six percent, the Black population rose from 11.5 to 12.5 percent.
Whites have already been a minority in 27 of the 100 largest urban agglomerations, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and Miami. The Brookings Institution believes that the declining number of whites is caused by low birth rates for young women, an aging population, increased mortality, and low white emigration to the United States.
The most significant increase in the share of minorities is among young people. Last year, for the first time in history, more than half of Americans under the age of 16 identified themselves as a racial or ethnic minority. Blacks and Hispanics accounted for about 40 percent of the total number of young minorities.
A significant decline in the white population has been recorded especially in the last three years. Between 2016 and 2019, the total number decreased by more than half a million. In the previous decade, the white population had grown by nearly 2.8 million individuals.
According to the Brookings Institution, the total US population grew by nearly 20 million between 2010 and 2019, most of the increase is represented by people of Latin American and Hispanic descent.
USCB estimates predict that the decline in the share of the white population would not begin until 2024. “At the same time, these forecasts assumed that the nationwide white population in the USA would become a minority in 2045. Now it cannot be ruled out that whites will be a minority in the next decade,” said economist Lukáš Kovanda.
Title image: A pedestrian is reflected in a window of a pharmacy on the predominately hispanic 24th street in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, March 1, 2011. The US Census Bureau reported on Tuesday that Nebraska’s population became more diverse over the past decade, particularly among Latinos whose numbers surged more than 77 percent. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)