For the first time in modern history, more white Americans are dying than being born. This suggests that so-called ‘minorities’ and newcomers will play an increasingly important role in fueling any population growth in the United States.
The number of non-Hispanic white Americans who died in the year ended June 2012 exceeded the number born during that year by 12,400, the first ‘natural’ decrease for this group. Even during the great influenza epidemic of 1919, there was no such ‘natural’ white decrease.
The big driver in this phenomenon was not rising death rates but significantly lower white births, which declined about 13 per cent last year from the 2000 figure.While a majority of American children under five years old are still white – 50.1 per cent – this proportion is expected to decline because the majority of births have been minority children for two years in a row, a trend driven by Hispanic and Asian births.
As the nation’s white population ages, there are fewer white women of child-bearing age – a trend that is unlikely to change.At the same time young adults, whether white, black or Hispanic, are having fewer children. America’s replacement level – how many children it takes to keep population constant – is approximately 2.1 births per woman. The fertility rate of U.S. women is approximately 1.9.
This implies thst U.S. population growth depends entirely on immigration. There are now 14 states where the majority of children under 5 are non-white. In 2000, only the District of Columbia and four states had minority ‘toddler’ populations.
Sooner, rather than later, there will be no meaning to the majority-minority designations of America’s diverse population.
Hat Tip: Neil Shah, ‘More White’s Dying Than Being Born’, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2013