"Non-White" Births Outstrip "White" Births for First Time, Says Census Bureau

|

As American as apple pie

Yesterday, the Census Bureau issued a press release announcing that for the first time the percentage of babies born to "minority" parents was greater than those born to "majority" parents. From the press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a set of estimates showing that 50.4 percent of our nation's population younger than age 1 were minorities as of July 1, 2011. This is up from 49.5 percent from the 2010 Census taken April 1, 2010. A minority is anyone who is not single-race white and not Hispanic.

The population younger than age 5 was 49.7 percent minority in 2011, up from 49.0 percent in 2010. A population greater than 50 percent minority is considered "majority-minority."

These are the first set of population estimates by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex since the 2010 Census. They examine population change for these groups nationally, as well as within all states and counties, between Census Day (April 1, 2010) and July 1, 2011. Also released were population estimates for Puerto Rico and its municipios by age and sex.

There were 114 million minorities in 2011, or 36.6 percent of the U.S. population. In 2010, it stood at 36.1 percent.

There were five majority-minority states or equivalents in 2011: Hawaii (77.1 percent minority), the District of Columbia (64.7 percent), California (60.3 percent), New Mexico (59.8 percent) and Texas (55.2 percent). No other state had a minority population greater than 46.4 percent of the total.

More than 11 percent (348) of the nation's 3,143 counties were majority-minority as of July 1, 2011, with nine of these counties achieving this status since April 1, 2010. Maverick, Texas, had the largest share (96.8 percent) of its population in minority groups, followed by Webb, Texas (96.4 percent) and Wade Hampton Census Area, Alaska (96.2 percent).

The first question should be, who cares? The categories of the ethinc groups constituting what counts as minority and majority are arbitrarily defined by Federal law. In my earlier column, The Silly Panic Over a Minority White Nation, I pointed out that for many early 20th Century nativists lots of other ethnic groups did not qualify as "white." I specifically noted: 

…the classic 1922 anti-immigration screed by Saturday Evening Post correspondent Kenneth Roberts, Why Europe Leaves Home: A True Account of the Reasons which Cause Central Europeans to Overrun America. "The American nation was founded and developed by the Nordic race," asserted Roberts. "If a few more million members of the Alpine, Mediterranean and Semitic races are poured among us, the result must inevitably be a hybrid race of people as worthless and futile as the good-for-nothing mongrels of Central America and Southeastern Europe."

Nativists like Roberts did not think that Italians, Jews, and Slavs, etc. were "white." So I did some rough calculations looking at percentages of Americans who are descended from those earlier "minority" groups, and I found: 

…adding up all of the "non-white" groups, one finds that they and their descendants now total 184 million out of 313 million citizens, constituting nearly 60 percent of the country's current population. But how can that be? After all, the Census Bureau notes, "In the 2010 Census, just over one-third of the U.S. population reported their race and ethnicity as something other than non-Hispanic white alone (i.e. "minority")." The answer to this conundrum is that Italians, Poles, Jews, and the Irish are now considered "white."

It is this fact that renders silly and nearly meaningless the pronouncement that "whites" will be a minority in this country by 2050. By 2050, just as the earlier waves of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish immigrants were assimilated, so too will today's Hispanic immigrants and their descendants be. For all intents and purposes, Hispanics will become as "white" as Irish, Italians, Jews, and Poles.

Meanwhile Roberts' worst fear of the "mongrelization" of the races in America is being realized. The rising intermarriage rate between members of the arbitrarily defined and federally recognized ethnic groups demonstrates ever-lessening concern by Americans about this issue. It is my hope and belief that Americans of whatever ancestry living in 2050 will look back and wonder why ever did anyone care about the ethnic makeup of the American population. America is an ideal, not a tribe.

In the 1950s the Census Bureau could have issued a press release proclaiming the advent of the new "majority minority" nation based on the growing percentage of births from Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Polish-Americans, etc. And yet, the Census Bureau's non-story made the front pages of nearly every major newspaper, yesterday. I guess tribalism sells. 

NEXT: About the Book Agency Entry Saying Obama Was Born in Kenya...

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. 1ieth!

  2. “I don’t care what color they are as long as I can sponge off them until I finally die!”

    -Boomer Geezer Shaking a Cane

  3. SugarFree: Just who are you calling a “Boomer Geezer?”

    1. It was just a generic character. Tell me why you thought it was pointed at you. Some deep-seated anxiety perhaps? Grandiose dreams of self-importance? You often talk about global-warming. Do you feel like the problems of the entire world are on your shoulders, that you are a savior figure?

      I think we need to pursue this more. Are Tuesdays at 3pm good for you? I have an opening in my schedule.

      1. “Boomer Griefer” works, too.

    2. Baby Boomer Santa!

  4. The first question should be, who cares?

    My first thought was, what happened to everyone’s favorite new term, the white Hispanic? But, that would defeat the narrative – the perpetual warning to whitey that his day is coming.

    As to the question above, the answer is ‘everyone’ based on what these kids are likely to grow into. Will they be another generation of societal looters and baby mamas, will they be professionals who contribute to society, or what?

    1. I thought our favorite new term was “white Indian”?

      1. +gambol

    2. While I think that such distinctions should be irrelevant, especially to government, “White Hispanic” is not a undefined or meaningless term. Hispanic is a linguistic and cultural designation and can be of any race (for example, there are a lot of Japanese-Hispanics in Peru). I believe our friend and commentary associate old Mexican has described himself as having fair skin and green eyes, which would make him a white Hispanic.
      Of course the whole thing has just gone full retard with people trying to make the thing in Fla about race.

      1. I believe our friend and commentary associate old Mexican has described himself as having fair skin and green eyes, which would make him a white Hispanic.

        Like Anthony Quinn.

        And then there’s Susan Kohner, who played the young black woman trying to pass herself off as white and refusing to be black in the 1950s version of Imitation of Life. Kohner was the child of a Czech father and a Mexican mother

    3. These mongrel kids will “grow into” getting arrested and cashing welfare checks. They will thrive on victimhood. They will vote Democratic.

      1. Yes, let’s lump people into arbitrary groups and make generalizations about them.

        1. Zeb, TELLMOFF is an obvious ATF agent provocateur trying to put together the next dangerous conspiracy against soccer-moms that the ATF will heroically break-up.

          It’s really best to ignore him so that eventually his handlers will send him after more promising game.

      2. Gretchen Carlson, is that you?

  5. The census bereau definition of ‘Hispanic’ is pretty wide open…

    Like counting Warren as an indian.

    1. This is true. At my job I had to write a routine that “interprets” your race based on federal guidelines. If you check any two races, you are considered “multiracial” – EXCEPT if you click Hispanic + any other race, you are “hispanic”. I don’t know how they got away with skewing it that way. But again, entirely arbitrary.

    2. There was a girl in my college class who changed her last name to “Ochagavia” from some boring English name for the purposes of admissions.

      1. So would Chad Ochocinco be a black Hispanic?

        1. No such thing.
          Everyone knows blacks and Hispanics don’t marry.
          Their kids would be too lazy to steal!

      2. I have been tempted to claim to be Hispanic myself based upon as good a family story as Warren’s.

        While my last name is obviously German in spelling, it could also be interpreted as a Germanic corruption of a common Spanish last name. Since the German family orignates from an area of Germany near the Dutch border, my father’s theory, which is just as valid as Warren’s family myth, is that the family descends from a Spanish soldier left to walk home from defeat during the war’s of Dutch independence from Spain. Never have checked Hispanic though; just could not be that cynical.

        1. Me, I’m technically African-American. You just have to go back 60 or 70 thousand years.

  6. Have you seen the shit they show on Univision?
    Oh wait …
    http://bellezaymoda.univision……ageStage:2

    1. Hellz yeah. I like to get drunk and watch Sabado Gigante and try to figure out what’s going on.

      I screwed up and took French and German as a yute. Should have taken the Spanish – thank goodness two of my kids did, so I have translators…

      Ay carrrrrrrumba – muy caliente!

      1. If you care what they’re saying on the Mexican TV you’re watching, you’re doing it wrong.

        1. +2 big boobs on one of the co-hostesses

          1. I’ve been on a latina jones for years now — no end in sight to that fire.

          2. Ow! Ow! There’s another one I’m never going to have!

          3. I never realized how much of a Nordic influence there is in the Latin ethnicities, with all the blondes they have.

    2. Damn I love me some Univision.

  7. I am a Native American. I was born here.

    I AM THE 99%! Or something.

    Who fucking cares? Oh – the government. Of course.

    1. “I am a Native American… Who fucking cares? “

      I’m sure Harvard Law cares.

  8. “Non-White” Births Outstrip “White” Births for First Time, Says Census Bureau

    FUCK! It’s the Italians, isn’t it? I’ve been warning everyone for years, those people breed like rabbits. And don’t even get me started on the Irish.

    1. Fucking Catholics not using birth control!

      1. Catholic Italy has the lowest birth rate in the world.

        1. Japan and Germany are both lower than Italy. We sure did a number on the Axis.

  9. So when will minorities lose the “minority” label?

    1. About the same time they don’t have to lump all minorities together in order to “beat” the majorities.

  10. Let me just leave this here:

    GRETCHEN CARLSON, CO-HOST “FOX FRIENDS”: I say on its face it doesn’t matter, as far as the racial aspect of it. But culturally it could matter and here’s why.

    There are more births to single parents with minorities than to Caucasians and we all know that that does not bode well for the future of a child. Every study shows that a child is more apt to grow up in poverty if they only have one parent.

    In 2010, 72.5 percent of all black births were to single parents. Fifty three point three percent of all Hispanic births, 29 percent of the Caucasian births.

    Why does that matter down the road? Because eventually, these are the kids who are going to grow up and be educated and get jobs and pay taxes. And most importantly, pay for the entitlement programs of this nation which are already broke.

    1. “…we all know…”
      Bullshit red-flag.

      1. Because there’s not a well documented correlation between single motherhood and poverty, right?

  11. I eagerly await the federal aid I will be able to claim at some point due to my disadvantaged minority status.

  12. By 2050, just as the earlier waves of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish immigrants were assimilated, so too will today’s Hispanic immigrants and their descendants be.

    You’re probably right, but consider that the social/legal incentives to assimilate have been flipped: they use to push for assimilation, now they reward non-assimilation.

    1. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the 2nd and 3rd gens have any interest in not assimilating. From everything that I’ve seen in these heavily Latino-ized parts is that they can’t assimilate fast enough to get away from their parent’s creaky and weird culture.

      I just want to know when the massive immigration of hot Czech and Slav women will begin.

      1. That’s my gut feeling as well. I bet that by the third generation they will be as assimilated as any other immigrant group. Which probably also means that more of their culture becomes part of regular American culture, as was the case with Italians, Jews, etc.

        1. On increasingly every item at a super market, there is Spanish. Virtually every phone menu provides a Spanish option.

          They don’t seem to be assimilating into America: America seems to be assimilating herself.

          1. Their kids will still learn English. Kid’s almost always learn the language of the country they live in without trying.
            And Spanish is a perfectly good language too.

          2. One word: “television”. You think that kids are only going to watch the few Spanish channels? And I’m sure most parents recognize the economic value of learning English.

    2. Which legal incentives are you thinking of? Just a question, I’m not trying to imply that you are wrong necessarily.

      1. Affirmative action programs, which are pretty much mandated for any government contractor or subcontractor.

        And, of course, the anti-discrimination laws which fathered aff-act.

  13. Where are my pearls?! I must clutch them.

  14. Just wait, just like Italians and Jews, Hispanics will be considered white in the future.

  15. Take it away Black Flag:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwSw4AwSaMw

    Looked for the Keith Morris version, couldn’t find it.

    1. Thank you Voros. I love me some Black Flag. I’ll be walking by the old SST Records offices today, on my way to lunch. It’s been redeveloped into a hip little retail/office development.

  16. The solution is obvious:

    More interracial breeding. Then we’ll ALL be roughly the same shade.

    1. There is actually some concern in the Jewish culture about the dilution and/or slow fade of the Jews, from intermarriage and breedin’ with the goyim.

      I married a jew and when she told me that she wanted to raise the kids Jewish, I told that was fine with me. I then asked, “How do you do that, exactly?” Being a small ‘j’ Jew, she had no idea.

      The kids kinda identify as Jewish, more than anything else, but their more just taupe-ishly agnostic.

  17. It is this fact that renders silly and nearly meaningless the pronouncement that “whites” will be a minority in this country by 2050. By 2050, just as the earlier waves of Irish, Italian, Jewish, and Polish immigrants were assimilated, so too will today’s Hispanic immigrants and their descendants be. For all intents and purposes, Hispanics will become as “white” as Irish, Italians, Jews, and Poles.

    I can’t say that I care about any of this all that much but the word ‘white’ in quotes when referring to Irish and Poles as if it is a similar negligible “leap” to apply the term to Hispanics? Doing that to make a point approaches sophistry. If that is not the case, then my apologies to Mr. Bailey and I will drop this, leaving only a friendly offer to stand ready to help him recognize the differences between the fair color of the skin of Irish and Poles and the unmistakable darker one of those Hispanics that constitute the bulk of our new immigrants.

    1. perhaps Ronnie can explain to you how if Hispanics “become as white as Irish, Italians, et al…”, why will we still have more and more forms printed in both languages, why jobs will continue to seek bilingual applicants, etc etc.

      The descendants may, in fact, assimilate to the level he expects, but when there is economic advantage to be claimed through minority status, let’s see how far that assimilation goes.

      1. wareagle: Ronnie will explain that all of the issues you mentioned, e.g., printed forms, are largely the result of government policies. Despite these bureaucratic “divide and conquer” tactics, most scholarly research finds that Hispanics are assimilating at about the same rate as earlier immigrants did.

    2. Ice Nine: Skin hues are indeed used as ethnic markers, but others have been used to differentiate groups from “whites” in the past. From my column:

      Sociologists Jonathan Warren and France Twine in their study, “White Americans: The New Minority” [PDF], note that back in the 19th century, “The Irish were seen as a separate race.” They cite other scholars who report, “Inherited features like eye and skin color, facial configuration, and physique were often mentioned. Common adjectives such as ‘low-browed and savage, groveling and bestial, lazy and wild, simian and sensual’ were employed ‘by many native-born Americans to describe the Catholic Irish ‘race.'” In any case, some 40 million Americans today claim Irish ancestry.

    3. I am 75% British isles mutt, and 25% polish. No dark skinned ancestry at all. Yet I’ve been mistaken for Hispanic. There was a guy I played soccer with who was Puerto Rican. We were often asked if we were brothers.

      Point is, Hispanics are Caucasians, therefore, white.

      Things in this country would be so much simpler if we didn’t bother with officially categorizing by race!

      1. Well, a lot of Hispanics (perhaps a majority) are of mixed European and indigenous American extraction.

  18. Considering how people like Elizabeth Warren qualify as a member of a minority group this is not surprising.

  19. This whole thing has irritated me for years. I actually put other, Welsh on my census. It makes no sense to me that there are a variety of options for some ethnic groups, but then all but Hispanic Caucasians are lumped together. Either get rid of the questions about race altogether (preferred option), or stick to divisions that are reasonably consistent, not completely arbitrary.

  20. It seems that to be considered “white”, a person would have to have no known ancestors who are not white. But you can be black or Hispanic with only one parent who is black or Hispanic. (example: the President) Following this definition, it is entire possible that a natural blue eyed blonde with one black great-great grandfather could claim minority status.

    1. I’m black by that definition and yes I’m blonde and blue-eyed. My great great grandmother was black. I’m also French, Belgian, Polish, Native American (two different tribes), and English. IOW my ancestors liked to fuck around. I don’t check the boxes.

  21. I’ve still never seen a white person, unless you count that creepy guy in The DaVinci Code.

    We’re all related, and you don’t have to go back that far — just a few tens of thousands of years.

  22. Allegedly, there are albinos, who I imagine calling white, might be appropriate, if not PC. Though I’ve never seen one, not in a movie.

    1. There is an albino Jamaican Dancehall guy called Yellowman who is “black”.

  23. “Non-white”?? When (and why) the fuck did we start using South Africa as a standard to follow?

  24. You see, Pat Buchanan was right…and white.

  25. I’m just glad I speak Spanish (or at least can read it).

    It’s funny how even here in St. Louis (where we don’t have a lot of hispanics), signs in both languages are getting to be common. Mostly for national chains, not local places, but still very noticeable.

  26. Anyway, if there is one place we need to open up more immigration to it’s India.

    There are a lot of Indians in St. Louis (and for some reason, always have been), but they are the one demographic that does assimilate. You see them shopping, you’ve got grandma in a Sari, but the rest are dressed in normal clothing (even grandpa usually a western suit).

    By contrast, you look at muslims, the vast majority of them are in hijabs or even burqas. It’s pretty shocking to see a Wal-mart full of women dressed like that, but it’s pretty common, not just the one in Manchester (which is sort of the big area for immigrants) but also the one in Eureka, which is almost a rural area…

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.