Minority babies are now the majority in America

Minority babies are now the majority in America
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News

The number of babies born to minority parents has reached an all-time high, making them the majority, though not by much, a Pew Research Center report says.

The youngest Americans have no racial- or ethnic-group majority — something expected to be true for the entire population in a few decades, based on Census Bureau population estimates, wrote Pew’s D’Vera Cohn, who added it hasn’t been easy trying to figure out exactly when minority newborns started to outnumber non-Hispanic white newborns.

What is known is this: “The bureau’s estimates for July 1, 2015, released today, say that just over half — 50.2 percent — of U.S. babies younger than 1 year old were racial or ethnic minorities. In sheer numbers, there were 1,995,102 minority babies compared with 1,982,936 non-Hispanic white infants, according to the census estimates. The new estimates also indicate that this crossover occurred in 2013, so the pattern seems well established,” according to the report.

The bureau in 2011 said the crossover had happened, but actual counts in 2013 showed that was not the case, Cohn reported.

According to Bloomberg, the crossover “marked a milestone in a trend toward a more diverse U.S. that’s projected to continue. Births outnumbered deaths for all ethnic and racial groups last year except for non-Hispanic whites, the new census data show. A report earlier this year projected that by 2044, today’s majority white population will be the minority.”

That article, by Jeanna Smialek and Gregory Giroux, noted that “the demographic rise of minorities comes at a time when heightened racial tensions make headlines from St. Louis to Charleston, South Carolina, and as minorities lag in education, earnings and labor market outcomes. In the first quarter, blacks over the age of 25 made 78 cents for every dollar a white worker made, based on median weekly earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hispanic people were even further behind, at 70 cents.”

Such a profound demographic change will likely have economic echoes, as “today’s ethnic and racial minorities will form the cornerstone of tomorrow’s labor market.”

Email: lois@deseretnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

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