June 26, 2014

Falloff in births slows shift to a majority-minority youth population

The sharp decline in U.S. births after the onset of the Great Recession—especially among Hispanics—has slowed the nation’s transition to a majority-minority youth population, according to new Census Bureau data released today. Among newborns, nearly equal share of minorities and non-Hispanic whites, Census data shows

The bureau’s population estimates for July 1, 2013, show that young Americans are far more likely than older ones to be racial or ethnic minorities, defined as anyone who is not a single-race non-Hispanic white. Among Americans younger than five, half were minorities in 2013. Among those ages 80 and older, more than 80% were non-Hispanic white.

But minorities are not yet the majority of any age group, even babies, in the bureau’s new estimates. Among the nation’s 3.9 million children younger than age 1 in 2013, there were about 3,000 more non-Hispanic whites than minorities—essentially equal shares. In addition, the bureau published revised estimates today for 2011 and 2012 that also showed slightly more non-Hispanic whites than minorities in that youngest age group.

The revisions represent a reversal for the bureau, which announced two years ago that most children younger than age 1 were minorities in 2011, a widely reported demographic milestone. The bureau’s original 2012 estimates also had minorities in the majority among the youngest children. Census data shows growing share of minority youths in U.S. population

It is not unusual for the Census Bureau to revise previously released population estimates, based on new data. The bureau is handicapped in compiling its estimates because it relies on information from other agencies that often is out of date. For example, in assembling its estimates for 2012, released a year ago, the bureau had birth data from the National Center for Health Statistics only through Jan. 1, 2011. It updated the numbers based on past population patterns.

But after the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, U.S. births dropped sharply, in a break with the past. The number of births declined from 2007 to 2012 before ticking up slightly in 2013, according to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics. The nation’s birth rate, which has been declining since 2007, hit a record low in 2013. Birth rate declines were especially steep for immigrant and Hispanic women. Those two groups are among the main drivers of the nation’s demographic future, in which non-Hispanic whites will no longer be the majority. By 2043, the Census Bureau has projected that no racial or ethnic group will account for more than half the total U.S. population.

The change is happening first in the youngest age groups, because of births to minority mothers or mixed-race couples. Minorities are more likely than whites to be of child-bearing age; Hispanic and black women have higher birth rates than do non-Hispanic whites.

The recent decline in Hispanic fertility already has had a demographic impact in California. The governor’s budget, released in January, said that Latinos would become the state’s largest race or ethnic group by March, edging past non-Hispanic whites. It acknowledged that the milestone arrived about seven months later than had been anticipated last year, because of lower-than-expected Hispanic birth rates.

The Census Bureau data still shows higher shares of minority births than does the National Center for Health Statistics, whose preliminary 2013 data indicate that non-Hispanic white mothers accounted for 54% of births, as they had in 2012 and 2011. The gap to some extent reflects differences in the way the two agencies measure births by race.

Topics: Birth Rate and Fertility, Demographics, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, U.S. Census

  1. Photo of D’Vera Cohn

    is a Senior Writer at the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends Project.

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40 Comments

  1. Sara6 months ago

    Hmmm, all the majority people are super excited to reap the resources of the current minority groups, huh? I could have sworn you already governed their resources and determined their fate using your privilege and power. Welp, can’t wait to make your choices for you and become the majority someday :)

    Reply
  2. John6 months ago

    “They had at least fifty different ethnic and racial breakdowns for everyone you could think of and they had one box for “white.””
    “I would be curious to know how many people these days are one-quarter or more of two ethnicities.”

    An interesting pair of thoughts, I must say. Because most of us qualify–and self-identify-as “white”, we don’t get spotted as being anything different. However, if we break down my ancestors, I would be approximately 75% Irish, slightly less than 25% German, and a few other ethnicities–Welsh, for example–mixed in for fun. If someone wants to claim that Irish and German folk got along well, I think they have not studied the history of Western Europe terribly well!

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  3. Whitey ford6 months ago

    In my opinion, white liberals have destroyed America. Our culture, demographics, finances.

    Reply
  4. Wowey6 months ago

    This is truly disturbing. We have a coming majority of “Kids” who believe the world began the day THEY were born. No appreciation of American History, no roots in America and being indoctrinated, through the schools, to blindly take whatever they are given as a fact, without the time honored review of history. The constant drumming of “one world w/o borders” reduces each country to a stew of ideologies that are contradictory to a heritage and values incompatible with any sense of “belonging” If my neighbor is destroying my values…need I join them in destruction? NO!! The very fibre of American -ism is under attack. Argue as you will about diversity…the bottom line is acceptance of the mores and values of the host country. No laws, or laws unforced breeds anarchy, which in turn leads to insurrection. We are bing seduced to that state of affairs

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  5. E.W.E. Hughes Jr6 months ago

    So, at some point will I be considered a minority as a white, non-hispanic male? If so, will I qualify for minority set-asides and affirmative action? Will I be able to label those with whom I disagree on political matters racists without having to actually engage in any meaningful debate? Just wondering.

    Reply
    1. Whitey ford6 months ago

      Yep

      Reply
  6. iamfantastikate6 months ago

    In this comment section: Lots of people who hate everything and everyone, including themselves.

    Reply
    1. Richard Grayson,+Democratic+Candidate+for+U.S.+House,+Wyoming6 months ago

      Yes, I’ve gotten this far down and I’m stopping at the first non-racist comment, yours, which I thank you for. Now I’m going to read the next Pew post and definitely am *not* going to read the comments. I would ask Pew to remove the comments section, for it adds little of substance to the discussion and seems to attract mostly haters. Please, Pew Research, consider removing all comments sections from your informative posts.

      Reply
  7. amanda6 months ago

    There is simply no way possible for them to attribute for the millions of undocumented hispanics in this country, therefore these numbers must be terribly off.

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  8. ColKlink6 months ago

    Unchecked immigration moreso than birth / death rates drive the change. With 300 million Americans, we are not going anywhere soon.

    Reply
  9. Elwood Blues6 months ago

    I for one cannot wait until I can claim “minority” status and get some free tuition, free business loans, affirmative action, etc. It will be funny to claim victimhood and be able to do and say whatever I want because I’m “disenfranchised”. Imagine if you will a world in which a white person has “priority” from affirmative action in the workplace? Maybe the white person can get a lower SAT score and still get into Columbia and Harvard Law? Maybe become President some day??? It will be a sweet day when we can become “Dreamers”!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Stilicho6 months ago

    So, I guess we are now changing the definition of “minority.” War is peace; freedom is slavery

    Reply
  11. Marco6 months ago

    At what point will the artificial divide between so-called Hispanics and the greater ‘white’ population be taken down???

    Why is, say, Cameron Diaz or Selena Gomez being classified differently than Heather Locklear or Kim Kardashian? All are Caucasian.

    If white Hispanics –which are the vast majority of Hispanics– included with the general white population, then we’re back at 70% white majority forever. Something the progressive America-haters detest.

    Reply
    1. corvinus6 months ago

      “If white Hispanics –which are the vast majority of Hispanics– included with the general white population, then we’re back at 70% white majority forever. Something the progressive America-haters detest.”

      Wrong. The vast majority of Hispanics are mestizos, not whites.

      Reply
      1. luigee4 months ago

        “Wrong. The vast majority of Hispanics are mestizos, not whites.”

        That varies from country to country….Argentina is 97% White. Mexico is about 10% White for example..

        Marco does have a point. Most Hispanics in America are from Mexico…so if you were to include the 10% who are racially white with the “Anglo” percentages, then Whites would still be a majority.

        On a side note: With Mexico’s booming economy and job growth, we might see reverse migration back to Mexico. This will surely keep America “whiter” longer..

        Reply
    2. E.W.E. Hughes Jr6 months ago

      Good point. Exactly what is a hispanic? Is it enough to have a Spanish surname? Do you have to look like an Aztec or does it also include fair-skinned Cubans, which there are many? So much of the focus on race is bogus. It’s about keeping people divided. Perhaps some day in the distant future people will wonder why our era spend so much time and energy on a subject that is truly insignificant. We are all members of the human race. Period.

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    3. Carlton Smith6 months ago

      No kidding; In Texas, there are many old blood hispanics who look, act, and sound just like their neighbor of german heritage, and many of them are some of the most conservative individuals I’ve met…I know, some of them are even in my own family…who harkin back to some of the original west texas wildcatters. You’re right, lefties just hate to hear this.

      Reply
      1. Cynthia Curran5 months ago

        Yes, but there is an income gap between the two groups and an educational gap. Hispanics in Texas that are successful married other non-Hispanic whites will think of themselves as white. Others in the Rio Grande area or in the big cities like Houston and Dallas that have a lot of the recent immigration population think differently. Too many people on the right such as yourself don’t think that a demograhic shift could hurt the economically in the future if educational levels or income does not improved among Hispanics. Steven Murdock a demographer has pointed this out but both the left and the right ignore these studies.

        Reply
  12. frank brown6 months ago

    the lack of jobs has slowed down those $8-15,000 EITC tax credits for the many babies. too bad!

    Reply
  13. Ricardo Queso6 months ago

    Probably not a coincidence the timing of this study and the Administration’s scheme to flood the nation with more illegals.

    Reply
  14. Bob G.6 months ago

    WHO CARES!!! We’re never going to get beyond racism until we stop obsessing over race.

    Reply
    1. frank brown6 months ago

      yes. correct sir. ethnicity and culture fail to matter.

      Reply
    2. ColKlink6 months ago

      Illegal immigration is a criminal offense and anyone who supports them. Rule of Law, not racism.

      Reply
    3. Joe6 months ago

      Amen!

      Reply
    4. John Rutowicz6 months ago

      I care! Humans have genetically built-in preference for their in-group, and race is the most basic distinguishing feature in in-group/out-group differentiation. Your insistence on a race-less society is utopian and anti-human. Humans will always care about race. They can’t help but care. You need to face reality. No one wants to become the last white, English-speaking person in their neighborhood. People want to live in cohesive societies where others look like them, speak like them, and share a religion. To expect people not to want this is cultural Marxist insanity.

      Reply
  15. Paul6 months ago

    Unfortunately these numbers cannot be accurate. For years Hispanic babies have had Caucasian put on their birth certificates. This practice goes back decades. My wife works in emergency room and they log race of patients but they do not have Hispanic on the form. They have Island Pacific but not Hispanic! There is only one reason to hide these numbers.

    Reply
  16. Truth Or Beauty6 months ago

    It doesn’t matter how much they try to rewrite history to perpetuate the fantasy, the reality will be obvious even to a blind man in a few years.

    Reply
  17. onetermandout6 months ago

    When a small minority has as many or more births than the majority, they are reproducing at a much higher rate.
    Considering so many minority members are “takers”, there are simply not enough “makers” to provide all the free services for the takers.

    Reply
  18. Mike6 months ago

    So at what point do we shed the misnomer “minority?”

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  19. Thomas X6 months ago

    Who is going to “pull the wagon”?

    Reply
  20. Asa Jota6 months ago

    Then you’re going to have to come up with another term, “minority” is no longer correct.

    Reply
    1. Whitey ford6 months ago

      Nobody

      Reply
  21. JackZ R6 months ago

    And with the illegal invasion, slim hopes that this population will be able to continue to assist any economic growth of the USA. The illegals entering the USA will depress wages just enough…then who will buy the stuff?

    Reply
  22. Jocko6 months ago

    Many years ago I received a form from the Labor Dept. They wanted to know the racial, ethnic background of my employees. Since I didnt have any employees I didnt pay much attention to the form until I read it. They had at least fifty different ethnic and racial breakdowns for everyone you could think of and they had one box for “white.” If they were going to breakdown pacific islander and asian and chinese and native American and Aleut why didnt they breakdown French and Italian and German? Obviously it was because federal freebies and preferences had to keep certain people from achieving minority status. The term majority minority is a step in the same direction. Whites will always be left out of the grievance industry’s petitions for more stuff even when they dwindle to minority status.

    Reply
  23. Doug Lynn6 months ago

    I admit it is interesting, but if we are not racists, why do we care? I would be curious to know how many people these days are one-quarter or more of two ethnicities.

    Reply
  24. scotty6 months ago

    The “Great Recession”??? Gotta love how the left wing media tries to insert social memes to get them into common usage.

    Is this like the “Obama Humanitarian Crisis” going on right now at the border?

    Reply
  25. Golly6 months ago

    It’s going to be awfully tough to decide who The Man is in another 30 years. But I guess if we keep voting Democrat, we won’t have to worry about it.

    Reply
  26. Strayhorse6 months ago

    Let’s imagine for a second what the liberals and Democrats would be saying if those being forcibly and conspiratorially immigrated to the United States, were predominately Caucasians? Would the cry to make every allowance for their illegal admission to this nation be as loud as it is for non-Caucasian? Once the Caucasian “ruling majority” has been diluted and dispersed, what ethnic/race/color group will the liberals and Democrats blame for their social negligence and failure? Again, it was never about race. That’s just what the government wants us all to believe. That’s why THEY demand we identify ourselves in applications, grants, scholarships and admissions for jobs and education. It’s really about politics, control and the ability to identify who to eliminate from the race of mankind next. We were born human first, gender second, race third and faith last. HUMAN FIRST! HUMAN!

    Reply
  27. John Maruscak6 months ago

    Can we taxpayers get freebees now?

    Reply
  28. JDH6 months ago

    And the youths “values” are what?

    Reply