Data to be released Thursday by the Census Bureau is likely to show the U.S. is diversifying at the fastest rate in the nation’s history, even as overall population growth slows to the most sluggish pace since the country’s founding.
The new figures are almost certain to shine a spotlight on a trend that annual surveys have illustrated over the last several years: The number of white Americans is declining.
The white population in America has grown far more slowly than minority groups for decades. White people are having fewer children and starting their families at a later age than other groups, a long-term trend that demographers have called a baby bust. The opioid epidemic, too, has claimed so many lives that it measurably reduced the nation’s life expectancy, especially among white people.
Over the last four years, annual census surveys have shown the white population has declined by more than 1 million – a drop that is sufficient to wipe out the population growth among white people from 2010 to 2016.