Changing Demographics

November 16, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 41
Will the rising minority population benefit the economy?
By Bill Wanlund


Happy Citizenship Day! A youngster rests after joining other local children (Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian)
Happy Citizenship Day! A youngster rests after joining other local children who attended a naturalization ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 19, 2012. Some 40 million Americans — about one in eight — are foreign-born. (Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian)

The nation is undergoing one of the most important demographic transitions in its history. For the first time, minority babies outnumbered white newborns last year, and Census estimates predict that by 2042 non-Hispanic whites will no longer be in the majority. Already, more than a third of Americans are minorities, and non-whites accounted for 92 percent of population growth between 2000 and 2010, a trend driven by rising Hispanic immigration. Meanwhile, as millions of baby boomers retire, the nation is growing older. More than a fifth of Americans will be 65 or older by 2030, compared with one in eight today. Seismic changes also are occurring on the religious front: Protestants are no longer in the majority, and millions have abandoned religion altogether. And, in a striking trend of reverse migration, millions of blacks are moving back to the South.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Jun. 22, 2018  Global Population Pressures
Jan. 16, 2015  Global Population Growth
Nov. 16, 2012  Changing Demographics
Nov. 21, 2008  Declining Birthrates
Jul. 17, 1998  Population and the Environment
Jul. 16, 1993  Population Growth
Oct. 26, 1984  Feeding a Growing World
Aug. 02, 1974  World Population Year
Nov. 24, 1971  Zero Population Growth
Nov. 01, 1967  Population Profile of the United States
Aug. 15, 1962  Population Control
Jun. 13, 1952  Overpopulation
Mar. 10, 1930  Population Problems