America's Racial Tipping Point: Minority Births Top White Births for First Time

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Newly analyzed data from the 2010 census reveals that, for the first time in American history, racial minorities make up the majority of babies born in this country. Statisticians are describing the findings as an “important landmark” for the United States’ shifting demographics.

Minorities accounted for approximately 2.02 million U.S. births over the year-long period ending in July 2011. That number came out to 50.4 percent of total U.S. births. Only 20 years ago, racial and ethnic minorities were responsible for just 37 percent of U.S. births, demonstrating just how sharp this increase is.

Former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau Roderick Harrison heralded the findings, saying, “This is an important landmark. This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders,” according to the Daily Mail.

Though American birth rates have been declining overall in the last decade, this precipitous drop has affected non-Hispanic Whites relatively more than other ethnic groups.

See the graphs below for a more detailed breakdown.

Edging up: The percentage of total births in America has included more and more minorities over the past decade

Changing demographic: A chart showing the breakdown of racial and ethnic minority births for the 12-month period ending July 2011 compared to whites

In flux: A bar chart showing the population projections for the U.S. over the next 40 years. Some now believe ethnic minorities will outnumber whites before 2040

Identities: Census respondents choose their race by selecting either one option (ie- White alone) or more than one option (ie- White in combination). This chart shows the breakdown of those selections

Fewer white cities: This chart shows that only a handful of cities- like New York, San Diego, LA, San Francisco and Seattle- saw an increase in their non-Hispanic white populations over the past decade