Cen­sus: U.S. more di­verse; pop­u­la­tion for whites grows least.

White pop­u­la­tion grew slow­est, still ma­jor­ity

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAU­RIE KELL­MAN

The United States is grow­ing older and more eth­ni­cally di­verse, a trend that could strain gov­ern­ment pro­grams from Medi­care to ed­u­ca­tion, the Cen­sus Bureau re­ported Thurs­day.

Every eth­nic and racial group grew be­tween 2015 and 2016, but the num­ber of whites con­tin­ued to in­crease at the slow­est rate — less than one­hun­dredth of 1 per­cent, or 5,000 peo­ple, the Cen­sus es­ti­mate shows.

That’s a frac­tion of the rates of growth for non­white His­pan­ics, Asians and peo­ple who said they are multi-racial, ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment’s an­nual es­ti­mates of pop­u­la­tion.

Pres­i­dent Trump’s core sup­port in the racially di­vi­sive 2016 elec­tion came from white vot­ers, and polls showed that it was es­pe­cially strong among those who said they felt left be­hind in an in­creas­ingly racially di­verse coun­try. In fact, the Cen­sus Bureau projects whites will re­main in the ma­jor­ity in the U.S. un­til af­ter 2040.

“Even then, [whites] will still rep­re­sent the na­tion’s largest plu­ral­ity of peo­ple, and even then they will still in­herit the struc­tural ad­van­tages and legacies that ben­e­fit peo­ple on the ba­sis of hav­ing white skin,” said Justin Gest, au­thor of “The New Mi­nor­ity,” a book about the 2016 elec­tion.

The Cen­sus Bureau re­ported that the me­dian age of Amer­i­cans — the age at which half are older and half are younger — rose na­tion­ally from just over 35 years to nearly 38 years in the years be­tween 2000 and 2016, driven by the ag­ing of the “baby boom” gen­er­a­tion.

The num­ber of res­i­dents age 65 and older grew from 35 mil­lion to 49.2 mil­lion dur­ing those 16 years, jump­ing from 12 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion to 15 per­cent.

That’s a costly leap for tax­pay­ers as those res­i­dents move to Medi­care, gov­ern­ment health care for se­niors and younger peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, which ac­counted for $1 out of every $7 in fed­eral spend­ing last year, ac­cord­ing to the Kaiser Fam­ily Foun­da­tion.

By 2027, it will cost $1 out of every $6 of fed­eral money spent. Net Medi­care spend­ing is ex­pected to nearly dou­ble over the next decade, from $592 bil­lion to $1.2 tril­lion, the foun­da­tion re­ported.

Sumter County, Florida, home of The Vil­lages, a large re­tire­ment com­mu­nity, had the high­est me­dian age in­crease, ris­ing from 49 years old in 2000 to 67 years old in 2016. Over that pe­riod, 56 U.S. coun­ties showed a me­dian age in­crease of 10 years or more.

The Cen­sus re­port also showed that chil­dren in the U.S. born from 2001 through 2016 were the na­tion’s fastest-grow­ing age group, with a 6.8 per­cent jump in the year be­gin­ning July 1, 2015. Other age groups ei­ther lost or gained pop­u­la­tion by less than a per­cent­age point, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­sus Bureau.

That means more de­mand on tax­pay­ers for schools, bilin­gual ed­u­ca­tion and ac­com­mo­da­tions for English language learn­ers, as well as re­cruit­ing a corps of ed­u­ca­tors that re­flects the na­tion’s stu­dents.

Robert Hull, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of State Boards of Ed­u­ca­tion, said the ma­jor­ity of stu­dents in the U.S. are not white, but 82 per­cent of teach­ers are white.

“It’s not just the ser­vices of­fered or what we do for the stu­dents but who is de­liv­er­ing those ser­vices,” Mr. Hull said.

The num­ber of English language learn­ers in U.S. public schools was about 4.6 mil­lion in the 2014-2015 school year, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Cen­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Sta­tis­tics.

All race and eth­nic groups grew in the year be­fore July 1, 2016, the Cen­sus re­ported.

The Asian pop­u­la­tion and those who iden­ti­fied as be­ing of two or more races grew by 3 per­cent each, to 21 mil­lion and 8.5 mil­lion, re­spec­tively. His­pan­ics grew by 2 per­cent to 57.5 mil­lion. The black pop­u­la­tion grew by 1.2 per­cent to nearly 47 mil­lion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.