Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Population Projections Show Much Slower Growth

From New Strategist Publications

New Projections Show Much Slower Population Growth

A lot has happened since the last time the Census Bureau produced national population projections: a recession, a baby bust, a 2010 census that counted 3 million fewer non-Hispanic whites than expected, and two elections in which minorities flexed their political muscle with profound results. How do the Census Bureau's new projections capture these events and what will be their impact on the nation's future population? Let's take a look at what the projections show...

Much slower population growth: The Census Bureau's new projections show a population of just 399.8 million in 2050. This is much less than the 439.0 million projected for 2050 in the previous set of projections (produced in 2008).

Non-Hispanic white decline: The new projections show the number of non-Hispanic whites peaking in 2024 at just under 200 million and declining steadily after that. As a share of the population, however, non-Hispanic whites will remain above 50 percent until 2043. Non-Hispanic whites are already in decline among Americans under age 45. The non-Hispanic white share of the younger population will fall below 50 percent in 2027. Among the nation's children (under age 18), the non-Hispanic white share is projected to fall below 50 percent in 2018.

Slowing Growth Will Not Slow Diversity

The Census Bureau's new population projections forecast much slower growth than had been projected a few years ago. But this slower growth does not mean the population will diversify any more slowly. Only 46.6 percent of Americans will be non-Hispanic white in 2050, according to the new projections, almost identical to the 46.3 percent forecast by the old projections.

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