U.S. White Population Will Be Minority by 2042, Government Says

Thomas Penny, Bloomberg, August 14, 2008

The white majority in the U.S. will be outnumbered by Americans of other races by 2042, eight years sooner than previously projected by the Census Bureau.

Minorities, defined by the agency as everyone except non-Hispanic, single-race whites, will make up 54 percent of the U.S. population in 2050, compared with 34 percent of the population today, the Census Bureau said in a statement. The data updates predictions made by the bureau in 2004.

The projections released today, based on census results and assumptions about future childbearing, mortality and migration, show the minority population of the U.S. will be 235.7 million out of a total of 439 million in 2050. More than half of all U.S. children are expected to be from minority ethnic groups by 2023.

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The projections also suggest an aging of the U.S. population, with the proportion of people of working age—18 to 64—declining to 57 percent in 2050 from 63 percent in 2008.

By 2030, after all baby boomers reach retirement age, almost one in five U.S. residents will be 65 or older, the bureau said. There are expected to be 88.5 million people over 65 in 2050, more than double the 38.7 million in the U.S. today, with an estimated 19 million of them over 85, up from 5.4 million today.

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