August 22, 2008
Our Views: ; The popuIation is Changing Fast; In Just 34 Years, Whites, Too, Will Be a Minority in the United States
THE Census Bureau estimates that by 2042, all Americans will be a member of some minority, as the non-Hispanic white population will fall below 50 percent for the first time in United States history.
This reflects the differences in birth rates among non-Hispanic whites and the rest of the nation, as well as immigration trends.
It reflects an affluent nation that attracts industrious people from other nations. Lady Liberty's lamp still attracts the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Today, 12 percent of Americans were born in a foreign land, and the expectation is that that percentage will in 17 years surpass the all-time record of 15 percent, which was set in 1910.
That percentage may reach 20 percent by 2050.
"What's happening now in terms of increasing diversity is probably unprecedented," Campbell Gibson, a retired census demographer, told the New York Times.
The number of Americans will grow from 300 million in 2006 to 400 million in 2039.
The main change in the population will be in the Hispanic segment, which now makes up 15 percent of the population. By 2050, Hispanics will comprise 30 percent of the whole.
"Even with the high levels of immigration, a higher proportion of Hispanics will be U.S.-born," Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer with the Pew Hispanic Center, told the Wall Street Journal.
The "black" population will grow from 13 percent of the population to 15 percent by 2050.
Asian-Americans will grow from 5 percent of the population today to 9 percent by 2050.
Change is nothing new in the United States. In the first Census in 1790, 64 percent of the people were considered "white," and just over half were of English stock.
By 1900, nearly 90 percent of Americans were non-Hispanic whites.
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