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More than half of US babies now minorities, US Census reports (+video)

America is changing. As of July 2011, 50.4 percent of children under age 1 in the US were members of minority groups. In the under-5 group in 2011, 49.7 percent were minorities.

More US babies are minorities
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America’s minorities are slowly becoming the majority.

For the first time, more than half of children in the United States under the age of 1 are members of minority groups, the US Census Bureau reported in data released early Thursday.

The agency’s estimates show that as of July 2011, 50.4 percent of the nation’s under-1 babies were minorities (considered anyone who is not non-Hispanic, single-race white).

That is up from 49.5 percent in the 2010 Census.

The under-5 population is also moving toward “majority-minority,” with 49.7 percent in 2011 considered to be members of minority groups, up from 49.0 percent in 2010.

Overall, minorities constitute more than one-third of the US population.

“It really is an interesting time. We knew this was coming, but it’s just one more symbol of how America is changing,” says Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute.

America’s youngest residents have been shifting toward majority-minority for some time, and several states – California, Texas, New Mexico, Hawaii – and the District of Columbia are already majority-minority.

A combination of factors, including higher minority birthrates and higher death rates for whites, are driving the shift.

Between 2000 and 2010, Mr. Johnson notes, the number of non-Hispanic white women in prime childbearing years (between the ages of 20 and 39) dropped by 2.5 million, or 9 percent. During that time, the number of minority women in the same age group increased by 3.2 million, or 22 percent.

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