Washington: In a surprise, for the first time, non-Hispanic whites have come under minorities as Hispanics including ethnic people, Blacks, Asians and mixed-raced births counts for more than half of the total population i.e. 50.4% or 2.02 million, upto July 2011 estimates of the latest US census.
The present demographics of white births ‘minorities’ constitute just 36.6% of the total US population.
According to the latest data, the percentage growth of Hispanics slowed from 4.2 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent last year.
Immigration levels are changing that also brings in young families; a recent study has shown which is also considered to be a key factor in the rising number of Hispanics in the US.
According to Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University, "This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders. This is an important landmark.”
The 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the US’ racial structure and the lingering impact of a weak economy.
According to Kenneth Johnson, another sociologist at the University of New Hampshire, “The number of white births has fallen by 11.4% since 2008, compared with 3.2% for minorities.”
“The data is a "tipping point" that would present a new set of challenges to the US in years to come”, William H Frey, head of demographics at the Brookings Institution said.
The recent slowdown in the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations is shifting notions on the US diversity- the time when non-Hispanic whites become a minority.
The annual growth rates for Hispanics and Asians fell sharply last year to just over 2 percent, roughly half the rates in 2000 and the lowest in more than a decade.
"The Latino population is very young, which means they will continue to have a lot of births relative to the general population," said Mark Mather, associate vice president of the Population Reference Bureau.
(With agencies’ inputs)