Saturday, May 19, 2012

Number of babies born to ethnic minorities surpasses whites in U.S. for first time
America has reached a landmark point as, for the first time in its modern history, most of the babies being born there are non-white.  White children aged under one are outnumbered by those from ethnic minorities including blacks, Hispanics, Asians and mixed race, US Census Bureau figures show.

Of the four million children born in the US in the 12 months to July 2011, 50.4 per cent were from ethnic minorities. That compares with 37 per cent in 1990.

The figures also reveal the prolonged impact of a weak economy, which is resulting in fewer Hispanics entering the U.S.

Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University, said: 'This is an important landmark. This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.'

In recent years, births have been declining for both whites and minorities as many women held off having children due to the economic slump, although the drop has been larger for whites.

Minorities increased 1.9 per cent to 114.1 million, or 36.6 per cent of the total U.S. population, lifted by prior waves of immigration that brought in young families and boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years.

But a recent slowdown in the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations is shifting notions on when the tipping point in U.S. diversity will come - the time when non-Hispanic whites become a minority.

After 2010 census results suggested a crossover as early as 2040, demographers now believe the pivotal moment may be pushed back several years when new projections are released in December.

The annual growth rates for Hispanics and Asians fell sharply last year to just over two per cent, roughly half the rates in 2000 and the lowest in more than a decade. The black growth rate stayed flat at 1 per cent.


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