‘Children of Color’ Majority in Miss. as Numbers Shift

Jerry Mitchell, Clarion Ledger, February 26, 2012

For the first time since 1930, there are more minority children than white children in Mississippi.

White children make up 49 percent in the Magnolia State, while African-American children account for 44 percent, Hispanic children 4 percent and other races 3 percent for a total of 51 percent, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures.

“Half the kids in Mississippi are children of color,” said Bill Bynum, CEO for Hope Credit Union. “If we don’t do what we can to ensure that people of color contribute to the economy, it’s going to shoot us all in foot. I don’t think any of us want to be in that position.”

The gap between unemployed black and white Mississippians continues to grow. In late 2007, that gap was 6.7 percent. In 2010, it was 10.8 percent.

In addition, according to the Census Bureau report, the median black household made 59.8 percent as much as the median white, non-Hispanic household—almost exactly the same as it made in 1975.

Between 1840 and 1930, black Mississippians outnumbered white Mississippians, U.S. Census figures show.

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Mississippi’s black population began to decline in the decades that followed because of the Great Migration, with African Americans leaving Southern states for cities such as Chicago, Detroit and New York.

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The same phenomenon Mississippi is experiencing is expected to take place across the nation in the coming decades. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2050, non-Hispanic white Americans will make up 47 percent of the 438 million population; Hispanic Americans, 29 percent; African Americans, 13 percent; and Asian Americans, 9 percent.

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