According to new projections by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of designated minority ethnic and racial groups as a factor in the overall count of residents of the United States will mean that the country will become “minority white” by 2045. It is then that whites will make up 49.9 percent of the country, in contrast to 24.6 percent for Latinos, 13.1 percent for blacks, 7.8 percent for Asians, and 3.8 percent for multiracial populations. In 2060, the Census Bureau projects whites will comprise only 36 percent of the under age 18 population, with Hispanics accounting for 32 percent.

Two trends have been detected by demographers. In the first case, between 2018 and 2060, gains will be seen in the combined racial minority populations in the amount of 74 percent. In the second case, the aging population of whites will see a modest immediate gain through 2023, and then experience a long-term decline through 2060 because of deaths outnumbering births. 

The greatest growth is expected in the multiracial category, Asians and Latinos. Those three groups will see growth rates of 175, 93, and 85 percent, respectively, between 2018 and 2060. Blacks are projected to grow by 34 percent. Immigration will contribute one-third of the growth among Latinos during that time period, while the remainder will be attributable to natural increase (the excess of births over deaths). For Asians, immigration contributes to three quarters of the projected growth.

According to the Census Bureau, the year 2030 will mark an important demographic turning point in U.S. history. The Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections indicate, for example, that by 2030, all baby boomers will be older than age 65. This means that the size of the older population will increase so that 1 in every 5 residents will be of retirement age. “The aging of baby boomers means that within just a couple decades, older people are projected to outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history,” said Jonathan Vespa, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the Census Bureau, Vespa said, “By 2035, there will be 78.0 million people 65 years and older compared to 76.4 million under the age of 18.”

During the 2030s, which the Census Bureau projects will be a “transformative decade for the U.S. population,” America’s population will grow at a slower pace, age considerably, and become more racially and ethnically diverse. According to a release, “Net international migration is projected to overtake natural increase in 2030 as the primary driver of population growth in the United States, another demographic first for the United States.”

Although births are projected to be nearly four times larger than the level of net international migration in coming decades, a rising number of deaths will increasingly offset how much births are able to contribute to population growth. Between 2020 and 2050, the number of deaths is projected to rise substantially as the population ages and a significant share of the population, the baby boomers, age into older adulthood. As a result, the population will naturally grow very slowly, leaving net international migration to overtake natural increase as the leading cause of population growth, even as projected levels of migration remain relatively constant.

By 2060, the United States is projected to grow by 78 million people, from about 326 million today to 404 million. The population is projected to cross the 400-million threshold in 2058.

In coming years, the rate at which the U.S. population grows is expected to slow down. The population is projected to grow by an average of 2.3 million people per year until 2030. But that number is expected to decline to an average of 1.8 million per year between 2030 and 2040, and continue falling to 1.5 million per year from 2040 to 2060.

The projections made by the Census Bureau differ from those released in 2014. At that time, the  projected a minority white tipping point was to come in the year 2044, due to larger projected immigration and somewhat greater growth for several minority groups. The national growth was also somewhat larger in the 2014 projections. The U.S. was predicted to reach a population of 400 million in the year 2051 compared with 2058 in the new projections.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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