White American deaths outnumber births, losing majority in under-5 age group
Whites’ deaths outnumber births for first time
More white people died in the United States last year than were born, a surprising slump coming more than a decade before the Census Bureau says that the ranks of white Americans will likely drop with every passing year.
Population estimates for 2012 released Thursday show what’s known as a natural decrease — a straightforward calculation of births minus deaths — of about 12,400 people among the nation’s 198 million non-Hispanic whites.
Although the percentage is small, several demographers said they are not aware of another time in U.S. history — not even during the Depression or wars — when there was such shrinkage among the dominant racial group. No other group showed a similar falloff.
US whites now losing majority in under-5 age group
For the first time, America's racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group, the government said Thursday. It's a historic shift that shows how young people are at the forefront of sweeping changes by race and class.
The new census estimates, a snapshot of the U.S. population as of July 2012, comes a year after the Census Bureau reported that whites had fallen to a minority among babies. Fueled by immigration and high rates of birth, particularly among Hispanics, racial and ethnic minorities are now growing more rapidly in numbers than whites.
Based on current rates of growth, whites in the under-5 group are expected to tip to a minority this year or next, Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director, said.
The government also projects that in five years, minorities will make up more than half of children under 18. Not long after, the total U.S. white population will begin an inexorable decline in absolute numbers, due to aging baby boomers.