A melting pot of cultures and a high birth rate among minorities mean white people will no longer make up the majority of people in the U.S. by 2042, according to a new government report.
The Census Bureau report suggests that whites will be in the minority four years earlier than originally predicted back in 2004.
An aging baby boomer generation, an increase in immigration and higher birth rates among minority groups, especially Hispanics, is contributing to the accelerated projection.
"The white population is older and very much centered around the aging baby boomers who are well past their high fertility years," William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, told The Associated Press. "The future of America is epitomized by the young people today. They are basically the melting pot we are going to see in the future."
The report, released Thursday, looked at population trends through 2050, analyzing birth, death and immigration rates. It notes that the numbers could see drastic change if the country's immigration policy changes or if there were to be natural or manmade disasters.
By the time it's 2050, the population in the U.S. is projected to hit 439 million people. It will likely hit the 400-million mark by 2039.
According to the report, by 2050:
Today, white non-Hispanics make up about two-thirds of the population, the report says. However, 55 per cent of that group is under the age of five.
- Whites will make up about 46 per cent of the population
- Blacks will make modest gains, making up about 15 percent
- Hispanics will jump from 15 per cent in 2008 to 30 per cent
- Asians will increase from 5 per cent to 9 per cent
America's senior population, those who are over 85 and older, will triple by 2050 to a group of 19 million people.