For the first time, minorities make up a majority of babies in the U.S., part of a sweeping race change and a growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and predominantly minority youths that is set to reshape everything from American culture to government policies.
The findings, based on the latest government data, offer a preview of final 2010 census results being released this summer that provide detailed breakdowns by age, race and householder relationships.
Demographers say the numbers provide the clearest confirmation yet of a changing social order, one in which racial and ethnic minorities will become the U.S. majority by midcentury.
"We're moving toward an acknowledgment that we're living in a different world than the 1950s," said Laura Speer, coordinator of the Kids Count project for the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation.
"It's clear the younger generation is very demographically different from the elderly, something to keep in mind as politics plays out on how programs for the elderly get supported," she said. "It's critical that children are able to grow to compete internationally and keep state economies rolling."
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