Virginie Montet , AFP, Oct. 1, 2006
The US population, which is set to hit the 300-million mark in October, is one third minorities, with one in three people either Hispanic, black, Asian or, less often, indigenous Native Americans.
Minorities account for 33 percent (98 million) of the population, according to US Census Bureau figures from 2005, when the US population stood at 296.4 million people.
Immigrants for their part represent 12.4 percent of the population, or 35.7 million people, compared to 2000 when they made up 11.2 percent of the population.
Minorities are set to increase in number in coming years thanks to immigration but also to the higher birth-rate among these populations who are generally younger than white non-Hispanics.
Already, nearly half of American children under the age of five are from a minority group.
Hispanics in the United States have outgrown the number of blacks in the country in recent years and account for 14 percent (42.7 million) of the population.
The average age among the Hispanic population is 27 as opposed to 36 for the average American. One third of Hispanics are under the age of 18. And they are the fastest growing segment of the population — 3.3 percent between 2004-2005, or 1.3 million more, in large part due to births (800,000) followed by immigration (500,000).
At this rate, Hispanics are expected to represent 25 percent of the US population, or 102.6 million people, by 2050, according to the Census Bureau.
Non-Hispanic whites still represent the majority of Americans — 198.4 million — but their numbers are shrinking. According to census figures, non-Hispanic whites represented 66.8 percent of the population in 2005 as opposed to 2000 when they made up nearly 70 percent of the population.
Whites are also the minority in four states, California, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii, and also in the US federal capital.