The number of minority children in the U.S. will overtake the white population under age 18 ahead of schedule in another sign of America’s changing demographics, according to projections by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The ranks of Hispanic, Asian, black, multiracial and other minority children will surpass 38.2 million in 2019, outnumbering the 37.7 million white, non-Hispanic children about four years in advance of earlier predictions, the bureau said today.
Hispanics and Asians will remain the nation’s fastest growing minority groups, doubling by 2060, the Census Bureau said. Senior citizens -- those 65 years of age and older -- will outnumber children in 2056 for the first time in U.S. history.
“The greater stagnation and aging of the white population” is of more significance “as an important component of our future economy” than the changes to the youth population, William H. Frey, senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, said in an e-mail.
By 2043, minorities will make up the majority of the U.S. population, though whites will still be the largest single group. Whites also will continue to comprise most of the nation’s senior citizens. By 2060, the Census Bureau said, 56 percent of the elderly will be white people.
Although government officials have raised fears about the future solvency of programs for the elderly like Social Security and Medicare because of an imbalance between workers and beneficiaries, John Seager, president of Population Connect, said the latest figures are “not that much of a concern.
“The key to an economy’s health depends on productivity,” said Seager, whose Washington-based organization advocates population stabilization. “And when you have small families, you can invest more in health and education for children, which makes them more productive.”
The number of working-age adults between 18 and 64 is projected to grow by 42 million between 2012 and 2060, as the U.S. population climbs to 420.3 million, up from the current 314.9 million.