The percentage of non-Hispanic Whites in the U.S. population reached an all-time low of 63 percent during the year ending July 1. Numerically, that means there are 197.7 million White people out of 313.9 million total Americans.
Though the number of Whites increased by 188,000, mostly due from immigration from abroad, the number of deaths exceeded births—another first—by more than 12,000.
“This is the first time there has ever been an overall non-Hispanic White natural decrease in the U.S.,” demographer Kenneth Johnson told Bloomberg News.
There are other trends that suggest that minorities will outnumber Whites by 2043, as has been predicted. Children of color under age 5 are almost a majority, representing 49.9 percent of that age group. And, according to previous Census analyses, minorities younger than 18 are expected to overtake the number of White children by 2019.
“It’s the younger, rapidly growing minority population that will be driving economic and demographic growth this century,” William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based policy research group, told Bloomberg.
Overall, people of color grew in number by 1.9 percent, now composing about 37 percent of the total population.
Specific trends show that Asian Americans were the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in America, surging by 2.9 percent to almost 19 million people. The growth was mostly fueled by international migration.
Hispanics were the second fastest growing group, increasing by 2.2 percent, or more than 1.1 million, to just over 53 million in 2012. Their growth was primarily propelled by “natural increase” (births minus deaths), the Census said. Latinos also remain the nation’s second largest ethnic group, behind Whites, representing 17 percent of the population.
“Asians and Hispanics have long been among our nation’s fastest-growing race or ethnic groups,” Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director, said in a statement.
By comparison, African-Americans increased by a mere 1.3 percent to 44.5 million last year.