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Census shows minorities will be in majority by 2050

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Associated Press and Gazette Staff
August 14, 2008

Today’s minority groups will add up to 54 percent of America by the year 2050, thanks largely to Hispanics, and the nation will be substantially grayer, thanks mainly to aging baby boomers.


In fact, population projections released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show the non-Hispanic white population, estimated to be 200 million in 2008, will grow only to 203 million by 2050. During the same period, the Hispanic population will nearly triple to 133 million, almost a third of the projected U.S. population of 439 million in 2050, due to both births and continued immigration. The census projects the Hispanic percentage of the population will grow from 16 percent in 2010 to more than 30 percent by 2050.


The trend of a growing Hispanic population is reflected in Rock County. Hispanics made up 5.8 percent of the population in 2006, up from 3.9 percent in 2000, according to the U.S. Census.


But the percentage of blacks in Rock County declined slightly in that time period, from 4.6 percent in 2000 to 4.4 percent in 2006.


Nationwide, the number of whites will begin declining in the 2030s, according to the census, as white deaths outpace births. By 2050, deaths among whites will outnumber births by nearly 600,000. Nearly 65 percent of the population in 2010, whites will drop to 46 percent of the nation’s population by 2050.


The percentage of non-Hispanic blacks in the nation, however, will remain essentially flat. According to the estimates, the black percentage of the population will drop from 12.2 percent in 2010 to 11.8 percent by 2050. But Asian percentage of the population will grow from 4.5 percent in 2010 to almost 8 percent in 2050.


Baby boomers will be senior citizens by 2030, and the ranks of older Americans will reach new highs. About one of every eight residents was 65 or older in 2008. Nearly one in five will be by 2030. The number of seniors will reach 88.5 million by 2050, up from 38.7 million in 2008. Seniors 85 and older will see their numbers more than triple, rising from 5.4 million in 2008 to 19 million in 2050.


The “working-age” population of 18 to 64, however, is expected to drop from 63 percent of the population in 2008 to 57 percent by 2050. Fifty-five percent of that working-age population will comprise minority groups in 2050, according to census estimates, a 21 percentage point increase from 2008. More than 30 percent of the working-age population will be Hispanic in 2050.


The white population in 2050 will skew significantly older, with a median age of almost 45, up from 41 in 2010. The median age of Hispanics is projected to be 31 in 2050, up from 27.5 in 2010. Only 13 percent of the Hispanic population is projected to be 65 or older in 2050, compared with 25.5 percent of the white population.



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