This is not good.
According to data from the census, Generation Z will be the final American generation with a white majority. This shift began with Generation Alpha, encompassing those born approximately from 2010 onwards. In approximately two decades, around 2045, the proportion of non-Hispanic white individuals in the overall U.S. population will drop below fifty percent.
According to The Hill, while these findings might seem straightforward, some scholars argue that the statistics are inaccurate or, at the very least, misleading. They contend that the idea of a majority-minority America approaching is a misconception.
The subject of America’s white majority and its imminent decline is a topic laden with significance, given the country’s historical context of slavery and persistent discrimination against minority groups and immigrants.
Diverse experts, including demographers and economists, view the nation’s increasing diversity as crucial for a prosperous future. However, opposing viewpoints portray racial changes as a potential threat to the preservation of America’s white heritage.
Dowell Myers, a professor specializing in policy, planning, and demography at the University of Southern California, states that race is the most complex factor in census data and draws significant attention.
Data from the 2020 census illustrates the rising diversity across different age groups. The population of non-Hispanic white individuals constitutes 77 percent of those aged over 75, 67 percent of individuals aged 55-64, 55 percent of the 35-44 age group, and just over half of the 18-24 age category. A recent analysis by William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, reveals that only 47 percent of America’s children are non-Hispanic white.
This trend of increasing diversity will extend across generations, resulting in a future America where no single racial group holds a numerical majority. According to census projections, by 2045, non-Hispanic white individuals will account for less than 50 percent of the American population. By 2050, this group will represent less than 40 percent of those under 18.
However, demographers caution that these milestones oversimplify the narrative of America’s diversification. Many Americans no longer identify with a single racial category, making it challenging to quantify the exact numbers.
Returning to the census projections: by 2045, over 18 million people are expected to identify with two or more racial backgrounds. Subtracting this group from the total population results in a jump in the proportion of non-Hispanic white individuals from 49 percent to 52 percent, restoring their majority status.
Richard Alba, a distinguished professor emeritus in sociology at the City University of New York, argues that the census framework is constrained by a 20th-century view of ethnicity and race. He suggests that the concept of individuals belonging to just one racial or ethnic group is outdated.
In 1980, non-Hispanic white individuals comprised approximately 80 percent of the U.S. population. Other racial groups, such as Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, constituted the remaining 20 percent and were labeled as the statistical minority. Today, the fastest-growing racial category in the census is multiracial Americans, projected to double in size between 2020 and 2050.