June 13, 2013
The U.S. continued its transformation into a majority-minority nation last year, with Census Bureau data showing non-Hispanic whites making up the lowest percentage of the population in American history.
The estimates  released today capture several milestones in the country’s demographic makeup. For the first time in more than a century, deaths outpaced births among white Americans. Almost half, 49.9 percent, of the nation’s children younger than 5 were minorities as of July 1. And the nation’s total minority population grew 21 times faster than whites.
Non-Hispanic whites, the nation’s predominant racial group, added 0.09 percent last year to increase their total to 197.7 million, about 63 percent of the total population. Even with the increase, the largest since 2008, the total number of white deaths exceeded white births by 12,419. In 2000, whites were 69 percent of the population, and 80 percent in 1980.
“A natural decrease and eventual loss in the white population is baked into the cake of our older white population,” William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution , a Washington-based policy research group, said in an e-mail. “It’s the younger, rapidly growing minority population that will be driving economic and demographic growth this century.”
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