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US census: Babies from minorities now the majority

New data shows that over half of babies born in the US last year were from ethnic and racial minorities.

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Data from the 2011 census shows that for the first time, babies from ethnic and racial minorities account for more than half of births in the US. (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

For the first time, official data shows that more than half of children born in the US are from racial and ethnic minorities.

The Census Bureau has released figures from 2011 showing that in the 12-month period to July, 50.4 percent of babies were either black, Hispanic, Asian or of mixed race, according to The New York Times. Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births.

The Washington Post says the proportion of white babies counted during the decennial census in April 2010 was almost a full percentage point higher, and quotes Census Bureau demographers as saying the tipping point came three months later in July.

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“This is a watershed moment,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University told the newspaper. “It shows us how multicultural we’ve become.”

The newly-released data also shows that, in 2011, 49.7 percent of all children under the age of five were either Hispanic, black, Asian or from another minority, as were more than half of the 4 million children under the age of one, USA Today points out.

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Associated Press said that despite "prior waves of immigration that brought in young families and boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years" the prolonged economic slowdown meant annual growth rates for Hispanics and Asians fell sharply last year to a ten-year low of just over 2 percent, while the black growth rate stayed flat at 1 percent.

An article in The Wall Street Journal explains that the data shows that an aging white population and not immigration is the main driving force behind growing diversity in the US.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120517/us-census-minorities-now-the-majority