White infants are on the verge of being displaced as the majority of newborns now that nearly half of babies in the USA are ethnic and racial minorities.
Only 50.2% of babies under age 1 are white and not Hispanic, according to the 2010 Census–a sharp decline from 57.6% just 10 years earlier.
“We are almost at a minority-majority infant population,” says Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, who analyzed the latest Census data. “We probably have passed it since the Census was taken” in April 2010.
Steady growth in the number of young U.S. Hispanics who have more children than whites is shrinking the ranks of non-Hispanic whites.
In rural areas, the number of white children declined by more than 1 million or almost 10% from 2000 to 2010, says Kenneth Johnson, demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute.
The number of young white women of child-bearing age is declining while there is an increase in minority women of child-bearing age, Johnson says.
The nationwide changes are redefining who is a minority and who is not.
“These little babies … by the time they get to be in their 20s and 30s, the current racial and ethnic categories … won’t have anything close to the meaning that (they have) today,” Frey says. “When they think about white majority, it’ll be something in the history books.”