Posted on June 25, 2015

U.S. Minorities Increasingly in the Majority

Aimee Picchi, CBS News, June 25, 2015


The baby boomers, once the country’s largest generation, can no longer hold claim to the title. The so-called millennial generation, or those Americans born between 1982 and 2000, is now the country’s biggest segment of the population, with 83.1 million members, compared with 75.4 million for the boomers, according to a new U.S. Census report.

It’s not only the numbers that are shifting, but also the country’s diversity. Millennials, who represent more than one-quarter of the U.S. population, are more racially diverse than the nation’s older generations, Census data shows. About 44 percent are part of a minority race or ethnic group, compared with only about 22 percent for Americans over the age of 65.

Still, there’s another generation that’s giving the millennials a run on the claim of being America’s most diverse group. The country’s youngest citizens, those younger than 5 years old, are the first group in U.S. history to represent a “majority-minority,” which means more of them are minorities than whites. About 50.2 percent of Americans younger than 5 are minorities, the Census said.

That’s having a long-term impact on America’s racial and generational composition. A decade ago, minorities represented about 33 percent of the country. That’s shifted to almost 38 percent in 2014.

Several trends are driving the changes, such as immigration from China and Mexico, along with an increase in multiracial families.


The historic shift in America’s racial composition is most visible in certain parts of the country. There are five U.S. states where the population has already shifted to a majority-minority, according to the latest Census data.

Hawaii has the most diverse population, with 77 percent of its residents counting as members of a minority race or ethnic group. Next is Washington, D.C., at 64.2 percent, followed by California at 61.5 percent. New Mexico is the fourth-most diverse state, at 61.1 percent, with Texas ranking fifth at 56.5 percent.