Written by: Alexa Jones-Puthoff
Census Bureau population estimates released today revealed a major demographic milestone. For the first time, a majority of our population under age 1 is minority. That means that more than 50 percent were some group other than non-Hispanic single-race white. This threshold was crossed at some point between April 1, 2010 (Census Day) and July 1, 2011, the reference date for these estimates.
As our children are our future, this is a good indication that an already diverse nation will likely become even more diverse in the future. The population younger than 5 is just short of majority-minority status, while the population overall stands at 36.6 percent minority, up from 36.1 percent in 2010.
These population estimates represent the first by demographic group since the 2010 Census and show how each race, Hispanics and selected age groups have changed in population between that point and July 1, 2011.
These numbers are provided not only for the nation, but for all states and counties too. They indicate that there are now five states that are majority-minority, led by Hawaii, with a minority population of 77.1 percent. Furthermore, 348 counties have achieved this status, with nine crossing this threshold between 2010 and 2011.
Overall, Hispanics remain our country’s largest minority group, standing at 52 million, or 16.7 percent of the total population, in 2011. They also are our fastest growing, increasing by 3.1 percent since the census.
As our nation grows more diverse, it also becomes grayer: there was a slight uptick in the median age, from 37.2 years in 2010 to 37.3 years in 2011. The variation across the country by state was substantial, ranging from 43.2 years in Maine to 29.5 years in Utah.
For more findings, see the news release.