America’s population of white children, a majority now, will be in the minority during this decade, sooner than previously expected, according to a new report.
The Census Bureau had originally forecast that 2023 would be the tipping point for the minority population under the age of 18. But rapid growth among Latinos, Asians and people of more than one race has pushed it earlier, to 2019, according to William Frey, the senior demographer at the Brookings Institution who wrote the report about the shift, which has far-reaching political and policy implications.
The single largest increase was among Hispanics, whose birthrates are far above those of non-Hispanic whites, largely because the white population is aging and proportionally has fewer women in their child-bearing years. The median age of whites is 41, compared with 27 for Hispanics, the report said.
As a result, America’s future will include a far more diverse young population, and a largely white older generation. The contrast raises important policy questions. Will the older generation pay for educating a younger generation that looks less like itself? And while the young population is a potential engine of growth for the economy, will it be a burden if it does not have access to adequate education?
The population of white children fell by 4.3 million, or about 10 percent, in the last decade, while the population of Hispanic and Asian children grew by 5.5 million, or about 38 percent, according to the report, which was based on 2010 Census numbers.