A new study of US census data has revealed that Americans born between 1997 and 2012 will be the last demographic in which white people are a majority. This study predicts that less than half of those born in this time frame are white, and the nation as a whole is expected to become majority-minority by 2045.
The census data, released two years ago, indicated that the white majority in the US has significantly declined from around 80% in 1980 to 59% in 2020. This decline has not been driven by an increase in the black population, which has remained relatively static at around 12-13% since 2010. Instead, it is the Hispanic, Asian, and mixed-race populations that have experienced significant growth, reaching 19%, 6.3%, and 3%, respectively.
The Brookings Institution recently conducted a study that further analyzed this data. It found that the decline of the white population is even more pronounced when broken down by generation. While it was already known that whites would cease to be a majority in the US by 2045, this tipping point has already been reached among those born after 2012, known as ‘Generation Alpha.’
According to the study, non-Hispanic white people make up 77% of the population over the age of 75, 67% of the age 55-64 population, 55% of 35-44-year-olds, and just over half of the 18-24 cohort. Among those under 18, 47% are white, 25% are Hispanic, 13% are black, 5.4% are Asian, and the remaining percentage represents individuals of two or more races.
It is important to note that the data may not be entirely accurate due to the self-identification aspect of the census. Individuals of mixed descent have the option of identifying as either of their parent’s races or both. Additionally, the census forms do not include an option for those of Middle Eastern or North African heritage, who are counted as white by the US government.
The decline of the white population in America has stirred controversy in the media in recent years. Republicans have accused Democrats of using lax border policies to import blocs of Hispanic voters, who typically vote Democrat, to historically conservative states like Texas. On the other hand, some right-wing groups have protested that waves of immigration have led to whites being “replaced” in their own country.
Liberal news outlets have generally portrayed this notion of “replacement” as a racist conspiracy theory propagated by white nationalists. However, some of these same outlets have published articles celebrating the “countdown to the White apocalypse.”
Sociology professor Richard Alba argues that white people will remain the largest group in the US for a long time. He emphasizes that while the country is becoming increasingly diverse, whites will still play a significant role in shaping the mainstream society.
As the demographic composition of the US continues to shift, it is essential to have open and inclusive discussions about race, ethnicity, and the future of the country. Embracing diversity and understanding the experiences and perspectives of different racial and ethnic groups is crucial for building a harmonious and inclusive society where everyone can thrive.