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White newborns now a minority in the US

For the first time, there are more Hispanic, black and other minority children under the age of one in the US.

DATA FROM THE US Census Bureau has revealed that there are now more minority babies under the age of one in the country than white children.

The bureau states that a minority is “anyone who is not single-race white and not Hispanic”.

The percentage of white newborns as of 1 July 2011 was 49.6 per cent, while 50.4 per cent of the nation’s population younger that one year were minorities.

The minority population under the age of five is now 49.7 per cent – that’s up from 49 per cent in 2010, which indicates that the United States is on its way to becoming a ‘majority minority’. Hawaii, District of Columbia, California, New Mexico and Texas are listen as the identified majority-minority states or equivalent.

The Washington Post reports that this data is indicative of a changing demographic structure that’s “transforming the nation”.

“This is an important landmark,” said Roderick Harrison, a former chief of racial statistics at the Census Bureau who is now a sociologist at Howard University. “This generation is growing up much more accustomed to diversity than its elders.”

The report comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the legality of Arizona’s strict immigration law. Many states are weighing similar get-tough measures as fewer Hispanics are opting to enter the U.S. due to the weak economy.

“We remain in a dangerous period where those appealing to anti-immigration elements are fueling a divisiveness and hostility that might take decades to overcome,” Harrison said.

As a whole, the nation’s minority population continues to rise, following a higher-than-expected Hispanic count in the 2010 census. Minorities increased 1.9 percent to 114.1 million, or 36.6 percent of the total U.S. population, lifted by prior waves of immigration that brought in young families and boosted the number of Hispanic women in their prime childbearing years.

But a recent slowdown in the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations is shifting notions on when the tipping point in U.S. diversity will come — the time when non-Hispanic whites become a minority. After 2010 census results suggested a crossover as early as 2040, demographers now believe the pivotal moment may be pushed back several years when new projections are released in December.

The annual growth rates for Hispanics and Asians fell sharply last year to just over 2 percent, roughly half the rates in 2000 and the lowest in more than a decade. The black growth rate stayed flat at 1 percent.

Chart shows racial breakdown of births in the U.S. from July 2010 to July 2011 – AP Photo

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Emer McLysaght

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