Population of Young Whites Falling Faster Than Expected
Numbers of Children of Whites Falling Fast
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
WASHINGTON--America's population of white children, a majority
now, will be in the minority during this decade, sooner than
previously expected, according to a new report.
The Census Bureau had originally forecast that 2023 would be the
tipping point for the minority population under the age of 18. But
rapid growth among Latinos, Asians and people of more than one race
has pushed it earlier, to 2019, according to William Frey, the
senior demographer at the Brookings Institution who wrote the report
about the shift, which has far-reaching political and policy
The single largest increase was among Hispanics, whose birthrates
are far above those of non-Hispanic whites, largely because the
white population is aging and proportionally has fewer women in
their child-bearing years. The median age of whites is 41, compared
with 27 for Hispanics, the report said.
As a result, America's future will include a far more diverse young
population, and a largely white older generation. The contrast
raises important policy questions. Will the older generation pay for
educating a younger generation that looks less like itself? And
while the young population is a potential engine of growth for the
economy, will it be a burden if it does not have access to adequate
The population of white children fell by 4.3 million, or about 10
percent, in the last decade, while the population of Hispanic and
Asian children grew by 5.5 million, or about 38 percent, according
to the report, which was based on 2010 Census numbers.
The number of African-American children also fell, down by 2
percent. Over all, minorities now make up 46.5 percent of the
Whites are now the minority of child populations in 10 states,
double the number from the previous decade, according to the report,
and in 35 cities, including Atlanta, Phoenix and Orlando, Fla.
Vermont had the largest drop in its child population of any state.
The changes also have political implications. Though whites are
still 63 percent of the population as a whole, that is down from
75.6 percent in 1990, and minorities, particularly Hispanics, who
now outnumber blacks, are becoming an increasingly important part of
Mr. Frey estimates that whites will slip into the minority by about
2041. The number of whites grew by just 1.2 percent in the
population as a whole in the last decade, a fraction of the 43
percent growth among Latinos.