Whites Are No Longer the Majority

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In a country with a history full of racial discrimination and prejudice, the Census Bureau has declared that white births are no longer the majority in the United States. In the 12-month period since last July, whites made up 49.6 percent of all births and minority groups (Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and other mixed races) made up 50.4 percent.

Trends show that this increase in minorities and decrease in whites will continue. The white population is getting older, with their median age being 42. Latinos, on the other hand, have a median age of 27. This means that by percentage more white women are past their prime childbearing years while many Hispanics are within the peak of fertility. Because of this fact, as well as an increase in immigration, minorities accounted for 92 percent of the nation’s population growth in the decade that ended in 2010.

Whites will still remain a majority for some time, but this change marks a milestone in American history, as a new generation is born into an environment where minorities are the majority. As this generation grows up, they will enter a social environment that will largely contrast with all social environments prior, especially the ones experienced by today’s elderly.

One of this country’s biggest problems is the large gap in the quality of the educational system between areas populated by whites and areas populated by minorities. With over half of this new generation having some mixed race, we must wonder whether these educational differences will worsen. Will the older, and fundamentally whiter, generation be open or opposed to supporting the education of a generation that doesn’t look like them? People like Ruy Teixera, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, believe that “this is a polite knock on the door to tell us to get ready. We do a pretty lousy job of educating the younger generation of minorities. Basically, we are not ready for this.”

We also must wonder whether racism will begin to evaporate since over half of the country will have some Hispanic, black, or Asian background in their family. Could this even change the way that whites are treated? At this point, there are many unknown possibilities that can result from this population shift. All that we know for certain is that the United States is more of a melting pot than ever before, one in which it seems eventually everyone will have some mixed heritage.

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