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White American majority to end by mid-century.


From AP

Endangered Species

WASHINGTON – The estimated time when whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans has been pushed back eight years — to 2050 — because the recession and stricter immigration policies have slowed the flow of foreigners into the U.S.

Census Bureau figures released Wednesday update last year’s prediction that white children would become a minority in 2023 and the overall white population would follow in 2042. The earlier estimate did not take into account a drop in the number of people moving into the U.S. because of the economic crisis and the immigration policies imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The 2050 estimate is one of four projections released that is based on rates for births and deaths and a scenario in which immigration continues its more recent, slower pace of adding nearly 1 million new foreigners each year. Demographers said that scenario offers the best look for now at the future demographic makeup based on current conditions, rather than other models which assume higher rates of immigration.

The United States has 308 million people today; two-thirds are non-Hispanic whites. The actual shift in demographics will be influenced by a host of factors that can’t be accurately forecast — the pace of the economic recovery, cultural changes, natural or manmade disasters, as well as an overhaul of immigration law, which may be debated in Congress as early as next year.

“These projections show that immigration will serve to replenish our labor force as baby boomers age into retirement and make our population younger without overburdening our schools and other community resources,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings Institution.

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