According to predictions from the most recent census, it may be as soon as 2043 that white people will no longer be the majority race in the United States. This shift in the racial make-up of the country has implications that are already affecting the nation politically, socially, and economically, and reevaluating how minorities are viewed in the U.S.
The changing demographic appears to have played a role in last month’s presidential race when President Barack Obama was reelected to a second term in office due in part to earning the support of 78 percent of non-white voters. Socially, the breakdown of barriers against intermarriage has led to an increase of people identifying not as one race, but as many, causing some people to wonder if the concept of race will soon become nonexistent.
The restructuring of the nation’s racial composition has also called into question the need for minority protections such as the Voting Rights Act and affirmative action which were put into place in the 1960s to ensure that blacks were not discriminated against.
Half a century ago whites made up a whopping 85 percent of the population of the United States. Now, compare that to the 2000 census when the percentage of whites dropped drastically to 69 percent of the country, and today’s current holding at 64 percent. This increase in minority growth is largely the result of the 1965 overhaul of United States immigration laws which then allowed immigrants from Latin America, Mexico, and Asia to enter into the country.
“The fast-growing demographic today is now the children of immigrants,” stated Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, a dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and a global expert on immigration according to Huffington Post. When it comes to the kids, minority children are expected to become the majority as soon as 2018. In fact, for the first time ever babies under one year were made up of mostly racial minorities.
“Moving forward, the U.S. will become the first major post-industrial society in the world where minorities will be the majority,” said Suarez-Orozco.