White Americans have officially passed a major — though not unexpected — milestone as they now represent less than half of all births in the United States. Whites still represent the largest share of new births (at 49.6 percent, according to the Census Bureau) and will remain the majority population for many more years. (Non-Hispanic whites are currently 63 percent of all Americans.) But as the median age increases and their fertility rates go down, it is only a matter of time before whites no longer dominate the racial makeup of this country. Four states — Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas — already have combined minority populations that are above 50 percent.
It's also not surprising that Hispanics and Asians, which have the highest rates of immigration and have more children at younger ages, are the fastest growing groups in the U.S., though immigration rates for both groups have slowed in the last couple years. It's a good thing they are growing, too, because without the influx of new and bigger families, white Americans would not produce enough new people to sustain its aging "top heavy" population. According to one demographics professor, “If the U.S. depended on white births alone, we’d be dead.”
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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.