The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data (2023)

William H. Frey

Senior Fellow - Brookings Metro

The U.S. Census Bureau has just released its last batch of race-ethnic population estimates in advance of the 2020 census, with data indicating that the national headcount will reveal a more diverse nation than was previously expected. The new estimates show that nearly four of 10 Americans identify with a race or ethnic group other than white, and suggest that the 2010 to 2020 decade will be the first in the nation’s history in which the white population declined in numbers.

Over the decade’s first nine years, racial and ethnic minorities accounted for all of the nation’s population growth, and were responsible for population gains in many states, metropolitan areas, and counties that would have otherwise registered losses due to declines in their white populations. And while the U.S. and more than half of its states have shown absolute declines in populations under age 25, such declines were largely due to white losses among the youth population. These declines would have been even greater were it not for youthful gains among racial and ethnic minorities, especially the Latino or Hispanic population.

A more diverse nation, especially among youths

The past several censuses have shown increased racial and ethnic diversity among the U.S. population. In 1980, white residents comprised almost 80% of the national population, with Black residents accounting for 11.5%, Latino or Hispanic residents at 6.5%, and Asian Americans at 1.8%. (Except for Latinos or Hispanics, data for all racial groups pertain to non-Latino or Hispanic members of those groups.)

By 2000, the Latino or Hispanic population showed a slightly higher share than the Black population: 12.6% versus 12.1%. The Asian American population share (including Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders) grew to 3.8%, while the white population share dropped nearly 10 percentage points, to 69.1%.

The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data (2)

The new data shows that, by 2019, the white population share declined nearly nine more percentage points, to 60.1%. The Latino or Hispanic and Asian American population shares showed the most marked gains, at 18.5% and nearly 6%, respectively. While these groups fluctuated over the past 40 years, either upward (for Latinos or Hispanics and Asian Americans) or downward (for whites), the Black share of the population remained relatively constant.

The declining white population share is pervasive across the nation. Since 2010, the white population share declined in all 50 states (though not Washington, D.C.) (download table A), and in 358 of the nation’s 364 metropolitan areas and 3,012 of its 3,141 counties. Moreover, as of 2019, 27 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas have minority-white populations, including the major metropolises of New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Miami—as well as Dallas, Atlanta, and Orlando, Fla., which reached this status by 2010 (download Table B).

Most noteworthy is the increased diversity in the younger portion of the population. In 2019, for the first time, more than half of the nation’s population under age 16 identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Among this group, Latino or Hispanic and Black residents together comprise nearly 40% of the population. Given the greater projected growth of all nonwhite racial minority groups compared to whites—along with their younger age structure—the racial diversity of the nation that was already forecasted to flow upward from the younger to older age groups looks to be accelerating.

A modest but unprecedented decline in the nation’s white population

An important finding in the new census data is the decline of the nationwide white population for the third consecutive year. Between 2016 and 2019, the white population declined from 197,845,666 to 197,309,822, in yearly amounts of -97,507, -212,957 and -225,380. This three-year loss of over a half-million whites was enough to counter gains earlier in the decade, in total yielding a loss of white U.S. residents from 2010 to 2019.

(Video) The Nation Is Diversifying Even Faster Than Predicted!

The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data (3)

Even this relatively small white population decline represents a significant demographic marker. First, if the data is confirmed in the full 2020 census, the 2010 to 2020 decade would be the first decade since the first census was taken in 1790 when the white population did not grow. White population gains in recent decades have grown smaller over time, from 11.2 million between 1970 and 1980 down to 2.8 million between 2000 and 2010. But a white population loss between 2010 and 2020 would be unprecedented.

Second, the Census Bureau was not projecting white population losses to occur until after 2024. This makes any national population growth even more reliant on other race and ethnic groups.

The white demographic decline is largely attributable to its older age structure when compared to other race and ethnic groups. This leads to fewer births and more deaths relative to its population size. In 2019, the white median age was 43.7, compared to 29.8 for Latinos or Hispanics, 34.6 for Black residents, 37.5 for Asian Americans, and 20.9 for persons identifying as two or more races. The new census estimates show that, in contrast to other groups, white Americans sustained a natural decrease (an excess of deaths over births) of 1,073,206 over the 2010 to 2019 period. The loss was partially attenuated by the net gain of 1,056,594 white immigrants.

While a white growth decline could be anticipated, it was accentuated in the past few years by a reduction of births among young adult white women (likely a delayed reaction to the Great Recession) and an uptick in deaths, perhaps associated with drug-related “deaths of despair.” Also, as with other race-ethnic groups, white immigration to the U.S. recently slowed. Thus, the projected decline in the white population occurred eight years earlier than census projections predicted, contributing to the lower growth in the total U.S. population.

Race-ethnic minorities are responsible for all national growth

The unanticipated decline in the country’s white population means that other racial and ethnic groups are responsible for generating overall growth. Nationally, the U.S. grew by 19.5 million people between 2010 and 2019—a growth rate of 6.3%. While the white population declined by a fraction of a percent, Latino or Hispanic, Asian American, and Black populations grew by rates of 20%, 29%, and 8.5%, respectively. The relatively small population of residents identifying as two or more races grew by a healthy 30%, and the smaller Native American population grew by 7.6%.

For most of these groups, natural increase was the primary contributor to growth. Net immigration accounted for 74% of Asian American growth, but just 24% of Latino or Hispanic growth.

The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data (4)

When translated into population totals, Latinos or Hispanics contributed 10 million people—over half of the nation’s 2010 to 2019 growth. Asian Americans, Black residents, and persons of two or more races contributed 4.5 million, 3.2 million, and 1.7 million people, respectively. These groups constituted the main engines of the nation’s growth, and are likely to do the same going forward.

This is not just the case nationally, but for many individual areas within the United States as well. While white population losses are not evident in all parts of the country, it is fairly pervasive, with the main exceptions being places that attract white internal migrants. Between 2010 and 2019, 27 states and 47 of the 100 largest metropolitan areas showed white population losses. The areas with the largest white population gains were highly represented in the Sun Belt (download Tables C and D).

Despite losses in white populations, only four states and eight metropolitan areas experienced total population declines. In all of the other areas with white population losses, other race-ethnic groups more than made up for the decline. Metropolitan Miami, for example, lost 120,000 whites over this period, but gained 600,000 people from other groups, especially Latinos or Hispanics.

County map

(Video) MAGA politician talks about less intelligent immigrants, taking over.

A broader view can be seen by looking at the nation’s 3,100-plus counties. Among them, 2,251 counties—home to nearly 60% of the nation’s residents—sustained losses in their white populations over the 2010 to 2019 period. Yet, in 576 of those (where well over half of that population resides), white losses were more than countered by gains in racial and ethnic minority populations. These include an array of types of places (cities, suburbs, and rural areas) in all parts of the country. Especially represented are those that lie within major metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington, D.C., and Miami.

A decline in the younger population, tempered by nonwhite gains

Another notable trend observed in the new census data is an overall decline in the nation’s population under age 25. In a country that is rapidly aging, an absolute decline in this youthful population represents a demographic challenge for the future.

A major reason for this decline lies in the fact that a good part of the aforementioned white population loss is concentrated among those under age 25. Low fertility and an aging white adult population (with proportionately fewer women in child-bearing ages) reflects a long-term impediment to future white youth gains. There are two other factors contributing to this decline: a late-decade downturn in white immigration and the fact that the somewhat-larger generation of white millennials began “aging out” of this group, only to be replaced by the smaller-sized Gen Z cohort.

The nation is diversifying even faster than predicted, according to new census data (5)

To some extent, these factors also contributed to the small losses for Black and Native American populations under age 25. However, these losses have been partially made up for with gains in young populations of Latinos or Hispanics, Asian Americans, and persons of two or more races.

The relative youth of the Latino and Hispanic population, in particular, contributes to higher levels of natural increase. Along with Asian Americans, they also benefit from immigration. Hence, the 5.3 million-person decline for white, Black, and Native American populations under age 25 this decade was reduced to a net 1.6 million loss due to the positive contributions of Latinos or Hispanics, Asian Americans, and persons identifying as two or more races.

The national white decline in the under-25 population also impacts states and other areas. Since 2010, 29 states sustained losses in this young population, led by California, New York, and Illinois. Each of these states lost young whites and were not able to counter those losses with gains from other groups (download Table E). In 17 additional states, including Texas and Florida, other racial and ethnic groups were able overtake white losses to yield total gains in their young adult populations. Only four states—Utah, North Dakota, Idaho, and South Carolina—showed a gain in white young people over the 2010 to 2019 period. Going forward, growth in America’s youth will become increasingly dependent on nonwhite minority contributions.

Related Books

  • Diversity Explosion

    By William H. Frey

    (Video) Census Reveals America's Getting Much More Diverse

Diversity and America’s future

As I have written previously, racial and ethnic diversity will be an essential ingredient of America’s future. The mostly white baby boomer culture that defined the last half of the 20th century is giving way to a more multihued, multicultural nation. The demographic underpinnings for this have been set in place for a while, but the new census data places an exclamation point on them. It suggests that past projections of increased racial and ethnic diversity may have been too cautious given the accelerated aging and decline of the white population. We will know more when the full 2020 census results are released next year.

One fact is already clear: As the nation becomes even more racially diverse from the “bottom up” of the age structure, more attention needs to be given to the needs and opportunities for America’s highly diverse younger generations. The demography alone dictates that this will be necessary to ensure success for these youth and the nation as a whole.

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William H. Frey


What percentage of the US population is predicted to be from a minority group by the year 2060? ›

By 2060, non-whites will make up 57 percent of the U.S. population, more than doubling from 116.2 million in 2012 to 241.3 million, according to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau released on Wednesday. Racial minorities are now 37 percent of the population, it said.

What percentage of the US is white? ›

Persons 65 years and over, percent 16.8%
Female persons, percent 50.5%
Race and Hispanic Origin
White alone, percent 75.8%
54 more rows

What is the most populated race in the world? ›

The world's largest ethnic group is Han Chinese, with Mandarin being the world's most spoken language in terms of native speakers. The world's population is predominantly urban and suburban, and there has been significant migration toward cities and urban centres.

What percentage of the United States is Black? ›

Who is the fastest growing minority in the United States and where do they reside? ›

New Hispanic and Asian destinations

Hispanics and Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial minority groups nationally, increasing by 18.6% and 27.4%, respectively, from 2010 to 2018.

Which is the fastest growing minority population in the United States quizlet? ›

Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the nation. From 2000 to 2010, more than half of the nation's population growth was due to Hispanics. The Census Bureau predicts that by 2050, they will reach nearly 100 million.

How many humans are in the world? ›

8 Billion (2022)

What is the whitest city in America? ›

15 largest US cities
2015 rankCityWhite percentage
1New York44.0%
2Los Angeles41.3%
11 more rows

How many races are there in the world? ›

Most anthropologists recognize 3 or 4 basic races of man in existence today. These races can be further subdivided into as many as 30 subgroups.

What is my ethnicity if I am white? ›

White – A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

What is the smallest race in the world? ›

With a population that hovers around 2,000, the Toto are today considered one of the world's smallest ethnic groups, and, like their fellow Indigenous peoples from the Amazon to Australia, are experiencing the consequences of extractive industries.

What nationality is most in us? ›

The most common is German-American, which 42.8 million Americans identify with. Many people came to the U.S. from Germany in the 19th and early 20th centuries. German American is the most common ethnic group in over half the states. The largest number of Germans are found in the Midwest, West, and Pennsylvania.

What's the blackest city in America? ›

At 90 percent, South Fulton is the Blackest city in America. No other city above 100,000 population has more than 80 percent Black residents. South Fulton, Ga.

How many black people are in Africa? ›

In fact, people of these ethnicities are often considered "white" due to their relatively light skin. If we take the varying non-black ethnicities of Northern Africa into consideration, we can estimate that approximately 980 million black people live on the African continent.

Where did most of the slaves in the United States come from? ›

Where did enslaved Africans come from? In the first 150 years of the trade, West Central Africa supplied nine out of ten African people destined for a life of slavery in the Americas. Except for a fifty-year period between 1676 and 1725, West Central Africa sent more slaves to the Americas than any other region.

What is the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States today? ›

Hence according to the analysis of the growth rate of that segment of the population and the estimates made by the U.S. census Bureau we can clearly know that the population segment of people over 85 is the fastest growing.

What is the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States today quizlet? ›

the older population, 65 years of age and older. The fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population is: medication profile.

Which country has the fastest growing population? ›

The 20 countries with the highest population growth rate in 2021 (compared to the previous year)
CharacteristicPopulation growth compared to the previous year
South Sudan5.05%
9 more rows
27 Sept 2022

What is the fastest growing community in the United States? ›

Top 10 fastest-growing U.S. cities in 2022
  • San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Austin, Texas.
  • Seattle.
  • Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina.
  • Dallas.
  • Denver.
  • Salt Lake City.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina.
9 Nov 2022

What is the fastest growing culture group in the United States? ›

At 19.4 million strong and representing 6% of the total U.S. population, Asian-Americans grew 46% from 2002 to 2014 and are now recognized as the fastest-growing multicultural segment in the U.S. The group is expected to continue its growth trajectory, rising 150% between now and 2050 according to U.S. Census ...

What is the fastest growing segment of the population social work quizlet? ›

Disengagement Theory asserts that to withdraw from society and to become more introspective as one grows older is normal and healthy. The old-old or frail older people (85 and over) are projected to be the fastest-growing segment of the population in the 21st century.

Who is the first human? ›

The First Humans

One of the earliest known humans is Homo habilis, or “handy man,” who lived about 2.4 million to 1.4 million years ago in Eastern and Southern Africa.

How many humans have died? ›

With this context and timeframe in mind, the demographers estimate that 109 billion people have lived and died over the course of 192,000 years.

Who was the first person to ever be born? ›

In the Hebrew Bible

In Genesis 2, God forms "Adam", this time meaning a single male human, out of "the dust of the ground" and "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" (Genesis 2:7).

Where do most blacks live in the US? ›

Texas is home to the largest number of Black people of any state, with around 3.4 million single-race Black people. Georgia and Florida are home to the next largest populations of this population, with roughly 3.3 million single-race Black people each.

What's the whitest city in Florida? ›

Hialeah, Florida is the whitest city in the United States with 92.6% of its population identifying as White. The non-Hispanic white population, however, is only 2.57%. By 2045, the United States will become minority white according to the Census.

What's the whitest town in Texas? ›

How the city has successfully fought for 24 years to keep black people out. It was merely a coincidence that the latest racial and housing discrimination lawsuit against suburban Sunnyvale was filed this year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

What race are humans? ›

Today, all humans are classified as belonging to the species Homo sapiens. However, this is not the first species of homininae: the first species of genus Homo, Homo habilis, evolved in East Africa at least 2 million years ago, and members of this species populated different parts of Africa in a relatively short time.

What are the 3 races on earth? ›

Abstract. Using gene frequency data for 62 protein loci and 23 blood group loci, we studied the genetic relationship of the three major races of man, Caucasoid, Negroid, and Mongoloid. Genetic distance data indicate that Caucasoid and Mongoloid are somewhat closer to each other than to Negroid.

Where did human races come from? ›

Humans first evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution occurred on that continent. The fossils of early humans who lived between 6 and 2 million years ago come entirely from Africa. Most scientists currently recognize some 15 to 20 different species of early humans.

What is my ethnicity if I am black? ›

Black or African American

Includes persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa, including Black Americans, Africans, Haitians, and residents of Caribbean Islands of African descent. African – Includes people from countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Niger, Liberia, etc.

What is my ethnicity if I am Mexican? ›

About Hispanic Origin

OMB defines "Hispanic or Latino" as a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race.

What is my ethnic background? ›

Ethnicity: Your ethnicity refers to your background heritage, culture, religion, ancestry or sometimes the country where you were born.

What race is the tallest? ›

Dutch people are the world's tallest, with an average height of 175.62cm (5 feet 7.96 inches.) Dutch men are an average 182.53cm (5 feet 11.86 inches) tall. Dutch women are an average 168.72cm (5 feet 6.42 inches) tall.

Who are the shortest Asians? ›

1. Timor-Leste — 155.47cm (5 feet 1.28 inches) People on the Southeast Asian island of Timor are an average 155.47cm (5 feet 1.28 inches) tall. The average Timorese man is 159.79cm (5 feet 2.90 inches) tall.

What country has the shortest woman? ›

The country with the shortest women is Guatemala, where the average height is 149 cm, while Latvian women are 20 cm taller (at 169 cm).

How many English are in America? ›

25.21 million

How can I migrate to USA? ›

Essential Steps to Get an Immigrant Visa
  1. In most cases, someone must sponsor you or file an immigrant petition for you.
  2. Wait until the petition is approved and a visa is available in your category. Then apply for an immigrant visa. ...
  3. Get a medical examination.
  4. Go to an interview.
  5. Wait for a decision on your application.
15 Sept 2022

What nationality do us people have? ›

Americans are the citizens and nationals of the United States of America. Although direct citizens and nationals make up the majority of Americans, many dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents could also legally claim American nationality.

Where is the best place for a Black family to live? ›

Five cities found on both lists remain: Atlanta; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas; Houston; and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Nashville, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio, represent returnees from our 2004 roster.

Where do blacks live in Florida? ›

Today, large concentrations of black residents can be found in northern and central Florida. Aside from blacks descended from African slaves brought to the southern U.S., there are also large numbers of blacks of West Indian, recent African, and Afro-Latino immigrant origins, especially in the Miami/South Florida area.

What's the blackest city in Florida? ›

Miami Gardens

Who discovered Africa first? ›

Portuguese explorer Prince Henry, known as the Navigator, was the first European to methodically explore Africa and the oceanic route to the Indies.

How old is Africa? ›

Africa is sometimes nicknamed the "Mother Continent" due to its being the oldest inhabited continent on Earth. Humans and human ancestors have lived in Africa for more than 5 million years.

Why is there a large white population in South Africa? ›

The majority of English-speaking White South Africans trace their ancestry to the 1820 British and Dutch Settlers. The remainder of the White South African population consists of later immigrants from Europe such as Greeks and Jews.

Who started slavery in Africa? ›

The Portuguese were the first 'Western' slavers in Africa and with Papal support captured the African port of Ceuta in 1415. Slave trading of native Africans was relatively small scale during the 15th century as the Portuguese and Spanish were enslaving the native populace in central and southern America.

Who ended slavery? ›

His efforts met with success when the House passed the bill in January 1865 with a vote of 119–56. On February 1, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln approved the Joint Resolution of Congress submitting the proposed amendment to the state legislatures.

Who has the most slaves in history? ›

4 million enslaved people were obtained by Brazil, 1.5 million more than any other country.

What will be the population of USA in 2060? ›

The pattern should continue in coming decades so that by 2060 there will be 95 million older adults but 80 million children. The country will be grayer than ever before. Table 1. The population is projected to reach 404 million by 2060.

What percentage of the U.S. population is made up of minorities? ›

White: 60.1% (Non-Hispanic) Hispanic: 18.5% Black: 12.2% Asian: 5.6%

What will the world population be in 2060? ›


What percent of the U.S. will be black in 2050? ›

In 2050, the nation's population will be 13.4% black, compared with 12.8% in 2005. The Asian population, 14 million in 2005, will grow to 41 million in 2050, nearly tripling in size.

Is America overpopulated? ›

Many metropolitan areas in the United States are tackling a similar problem – overpopulation. Although the U.S. is the third largest country in the world, it has a fairly low population density and in 2017, the U.S. birthrate was the lowest in thirty years, which is well below replacement level.

Is the US population shrinking? ›

Finally, yes, Americans are having fewer babies—like basically every other rich country in the world. Since 2011, annual births have declined by 400,000.

What is the difference between race and ethnicity? ›

Race refers to the concept of dividing people into groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics and the process of ascribing social meaning to those groups. Ethnicity describes the culture of people in a given geographic region, including their language, heritage, religion and customs.

How many human races are there? ›

The Major Divisions of the Human Race

Most anthropologists recognize 3 or 4 basic races of man in existence today. These races can be further subdivided into as many as 30 subgroups.

How many people are in the World 2022? ›

Global population projected to exceed 8 billion in 2022; half live in just seven countries. The world's population will cross 8 billion in November, according to recently released projections from the United Nations. And more than half of all people live in just seven countries.

What will the world's population 2022? ›

The world's population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022. in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100. expectancy at birth. Globally, life expectancy reached 72.8 years in 2019, an increase of almost 9 years since 1990.

How many humans will there be in 2022? ›

The global population is projected to reach 8 billion on 15 November 2022, and India is projected to surpass China as the world's most populous country in 2023, according to World Population Prospects 2022, released today on World Population Day.

What is the fastest growing age population in the United States? ›

Both populations are growing, and older Americans are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans age 65 and older nearly quadrupled (from 4.1% in 1900 to 16% in 2019), and the number increased more than 17 times (from 3.1 million to 54.1 million).

How common is it to be Black? ›

Demographics/Societal Issues. 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 46 million people , identify themselves as Black or African American and another 2.7 percent identified as multiracial.

What age group is the fastest growing population? ›

The fastest growing age group in the U.S. is people over age 85, and the second fastest is people 100 and over (centenarians). Experts predict a twelvefold increase in centenarians by the year 2060, and that a 10-year-old child alive today has a 50% chance of living to be over 100.


1. Census: U.S. More Racially Diverse, Percentage Of Americans Self-Identifying As Mixed-Race Surges
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5. 2021 Data Summit Series: Census Bureau Data About Housing Characteristics
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