Posted on May 7, 2015

The Geography of White Population Loss

William H. Frey, Brookings, April 30, 2015

The white population is barely growing and, in about 10 years, will begin to decline–a consequence of an old age structure, fewer births, more deaths, and little immigration. What that means is that many places, especially those experiencing out-migration, are already experiencing white population losses. During the first decade of this century, white population losses were registered for 15 states, nearly half of our 360 metropolitan areas, and over half of our 3,100 counties.

Where are the losses occurring? A look at white growth and decline over the 1990-2010 period provides a perspective (see map, from my book “Diversity Explosion”). Some areas that are seeing declines in their white population caused by migration–particularly many counties in the Great Plains, the Midwest, and parts of the South–are also experiencing an excess of deaths over births in their white populations.