May 17, 2012

(USAToday) -- More than half of all babies born last year were members of minority groups, the first time in U.S. history. It's a sign of how swiftly the USA is becoming a nation of younger minorities and older whites.

Hispanics, blacks, Asians and other minorities in 2011 accounted for 50.4% of births, 49.7% of all children under 5 and slightly more than half of the 4 million kids under 1, the Census Bureau reports today.

The nation's growing diversity has huge implications for education, economics and politics. "Children are in the vanguard of this transition," says Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute.

In all, minorities had 5.9% fewer babies last year than in 2010, but births among non-Hispanic whites fell even more, down 10.1%, Johnson says. A key reason: A greater share of the minority population is of child-bearing age.

The new report offers a broad picture of where and how the nation is changing. One telling sign: vast differences in the median age — the mid-point of all ages — of racial and ethnic groups. For Hispanics, the USA's largest minority group, the median age is 27.6. For whites who are not Hispanic, it's 42.3. Blacks (30.9) and Asians (33.2) are in between.

Other findings:
•The population of kids under 18 shrank by a quarter million last year — the same amount as the over-85 population increased.

•Three more metro areas — Columbus, Ga.; Dallas-Fort Worth; and Vineland-Millville, N.J. — joined a growing list of places where a majority of residents are minorities.

•Nine counties, including Cumberland, N.J., and Quitman, Ga., joined the 11% of the nation's 3,143 counties where at least half the residents are minorities.

•Washington, D.C., when included with the 50 states, was the only place that has gotten younger since 2000, a result of young and educated people moving to the nation's capital.

•Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire are the oldest and among the whitest states. Utah and Texas are the youngest states. Maine's median age has increased by 4.6 years since 2000 to an oldest-in-the-country 43.2 years in 2011, Census data show.

The growth of Hispanic children, especially those about to enter kindergarten, poses a big challenge in many states.

Nationally, more than three-fourths of the nation's teachers are non-Hispanic white and just 8% are Hispanic, Census data show.

The number of school-age Hispanics grew more than 5 million since 2000 while non-Hispanic whites fell 3 million.

1 comment:

  1. It's almost time to stop using the term minorities then.