By 2050, less than 50 percent of the U.S. population will be non-Hispanic white, making the United States a “majority-minority” country, according to a recent analysis by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). The analysis finds that racial minorities currently account for about one third of the U.S. population but are expected to reach 50 percent by 2050. About 10 percent of the more than 3,100 counties in the United States have already reached majority-minority status.
By examining the racial and ethnic composition of youth, the authors, Kelvin Pollard, senior demographer at PRB, and Mark Mather, associate vice president for domestic programs at PRB, were able to predict what the U.S. working-age population might look like in twenty years. Currently, 43 percent of people under age twenty are racial and ethnic minorities. In addition, the authors find that minorities make up at least 40 percent of the youth population in nearly one of every four counties nationwide. “In the coming years, economic conditions could deteriorate in counties with growing minority concentrations unless opportunities in these areas improve,” they write.
According to the analysis, majority-minority counties are found in all parts of the country but are highly concentrated in the Southeast, the Southwest (especially along the Mexican border), central and southern California, parts of the rural Great Plains, most of Alaska, and Hawaii. They also find that these counties come in all types, “from large counties in major metropolitan areas (such as the Bronx in New York City) to small rural counties (such as Todd County in South Dakota).”
The complete analysis is available at http://prb.org/Articles/2008/majority-minority.aspx.