Census: In 10 States, Majority of Children Are Non-White

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Hispanics will account for more than half of U.S. population growth this decade, and in ten states, whites comprise less than half of the child population. Those are the most striking findings from the Census Bureau's final data dump this week, according to William H. Frey, Senior Fellow and demographer with the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. From a memo via the Brookings Institution:


1. Hispanics are the growth engine for most of the country. 
The results on Thursday should show that Hispanics will account for more than half of the U.S. growth this decade compared 40 percent in the 1990s. In three quarters of the states released thus far, the Hispanic population rose by more than half. Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and five others more than doubled Hispanic populations. In fast growing western and southern states, like Nevada, Arizona, and Virginia, where whites or blacks dominated past growth, Hispanics are now the greatest growth engine. And stagnating states, like Ohio, Kansas and Nebraska, are dependent on Hispanics for keeping their growth from slowing further.  

2. The child population is becoming far more racially diverse than adults.  Most of the states released thus far saw losses in white children - a result of our aging white population. For the nation as whole, but especially in growing states, Hispanics, blacks, and Asians will show greater presence among children. In Nevada for example, 61 percent of children are minorities compared with 41 percent of adults. In nine other states, whites comprise less than half of the child population according to the 2010 census. The diversity divide exists everywhere, but is sharpest in the west and south where it creates new gaps in culture, politics and the claim on public resources.  

3. Black residential segregation is declining, as blacks leave cities and move to the South. The 2010 census will show lower black-white segregation in most metro areas.  Among the 82 large metros released thus far, 76 had declines in segregation with big drops in fast growing southern metros in Florida, Texas and Georgia. Black shifts to the suburbs and to the South accentuate this pattern. More than half of the cities with the largest black concentrations showed black population declines in the last decade, while the suburbs of growing southern metros like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston registered record gains.
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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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