Projection: By 2043, majority of Americans will be nonwhite
WAShINGtON — White people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2043, according to new census projections, a shift that already is reshaping the nation’s schools, workforce and electorate, and is redefining notions of race.
The official projection, released Wednesday by the Census Bureau, now places the tipping point for the white majority a year later than previous estimates, which were made before the impact of the recent economic downturn was fully known.
America continues to grow and become more diverse due to higher birth rates among minorities, particularly for Hispanics who entered the U.S. at the height of the immigration boom in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since the mid-2000 housing bust, however, the arrival of millions of new immigrants from Mexico and other nations has slowed.
The country’s changing demographic mosaic has stark political implications, shown clearly in last month’s election that gave President Barack Obama a second term — in no small part due to his support from 78 percent of nonwhite voters.
There are social and economic ramifications, as well. Longstanding fights over civil rights and racial equality are going in new directions, promising to reshape race relations and common notions of being a “minority.” White plaintiffs now before the Supreme Court argue that special protections for racial and ethnic minorities dating back to the 1960s may no longer be needed, from affirmative action in college admissions to the Voting Rights Act, designed for states with a history of disenfranchising blacks.
The non-Hispanic white population, now at 197.8 million, is projected to peak at 200 million in 2024, before entering a steady decline in abso- lute numbers as the massive baby boomer generation enters its golden years. Four years after that, racial and ethnic minorities will become a majority among adults 18-29 and wield an even greater impact on the “youth vote” in presidential elections, the census projects.