This year may be the "tipping point" in the U.S. when the number of babies born to minorities outnumbers that of babies born to whites, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
"Census projections suggest the U.S. may become a minority-majority country by the middle of this century," the article said, citing a report by Prof. Kenneth Johnson of the University of New Hampshire.
Minorities made up 37 percent of all babies born in the U.S. in 1990, but the proportion reached 48 percent in 2008. Experts expect this year will be the tipping point when the figure tops 50 percent. Caucasians currently make up 69 percent of the U.S. population, but they are expected to become the minority within 40 years with the proportion forecast to dip below 50 percent by 2050.
The demographic transition is already visible in some U.S. counties. In the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County, Georgia, minorities constituted just 16 percent of the population in 1990, but the number of African-Americans and Hispanics had almost doubled to account for 58 percent in 2008. In Dakota County, Nebraska, the proportion of minorities rose from 15 percent to 54 percent over the same period as Hispanics moved to the area to work in meat processing plants.
According to the article, of the 3,142 counties in the U.S., about one in every 10 already have minority populations of over 50 percent, and in about 25 percent of counties children of minorities outnumber those of whites.
The steady rise of minority populations in the U.S. is due in large part to an influx of Hispanic women of childbearing age, who have higher birthrate than their white counterparts. Hispanic women in the U.S. have an average of three children, compared to less than two for white women there.
Meanwhile, Statistics Canada projected on Tuesday that the proportion of "visible minorities," or people of other than European descent, will double within 20 years to make up about one-third of the nation's population by 2031.