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More Minority Than White Births in the U.S.

May 28, 2012
Plain English Version

In the United States when we gather information about people we look at age, sex and income. We also look at race and ethnicity.

There are differences of opinion about what is a “race” and what is an ethnicity. Generally, black, Asian and white are the three races. Hispanic, Irish and Italian are three examples of ethnicity.

For purposes of comparison, blacks, Asians and Hispanics are called “minorities.” Their status in the country is compared to the rest of the population, which is usually called white.

For the first time, the number of minority births in the U.S. is greater than the number of white births.

This was predictable. The birth rate of whites has been declining for years. Immigrants arriving in the United States are young and in their childbearing years. Most immigrants are minorities.

Whites will remain the majority of the population for some years to come.

Experts say the change in the nation’s minority to white balance will have an important impact on education. The performance of black and Hispanic students lags behind whites and Asians.

The future American workforce faces global competition. If the workforce is not prepared, our economy will suffer. The ability of young Americans to support older Americans will be limited.

Nothing changed the day the number of minority births exceeded white births. However, the importance of meeting the education and workplace challenges ahead was clear to all.

The New York Times




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