Adults 65 and older will soon outnumber children for the first time in America’s history, it has been revealed.
The US Census Bureau released new projections this year that showed the country’s changing – and aging – demographics.
By 2030 all baby boomers will be older than age 65 and one in every five Americans will be retirement age.
The Census Bureau said that deaths will ‘rise substantially’ between 2020 and 2050, meaning the country’s population will naturally grow very slowly.
Adults 65 and older will soon outnumber children for the first time in America’s history, the US Census Bureau has revealed
Projections also revealed that America will become more racially and ethnically diverse, with the country’s share of mixed-race children set to double.
The non-Hispanic White-alone population is projected to shrink from 199 million in 2020 to 179 million in 2060.
Meanwhile, the ‘Two or More Races’ population will be the fastest growing over the next several decades.
While the projections did touch on race, this time the Census Bureau did not mention when white Americans will fall below half the population.
‘It was just us getting back to sticking to data,’ a Bureau spokesman told the New York Times.
The Census Bureau made headlines in 2008 when it projected that non-Hispanic whites would drop below half the population by 2042.
And three years ago the Bureau released a new graphic that showed white Americans would lost their majority status by 2044.
The Census Bureau said that deaths will ‘rise substantially’ between 2020 and 2050, meaning the country’s population will naturally grow very slowly
Many academics criticized how the Bureau was presenting its data, fearing it could stoke white nationalism.
Former Census Bureau director Kenneth Prewitt was so concerned by the graphic that he organized a meeting with the chief US statistician.
‘Statistics are powerful,’ Prewitt said. ‘They are a description of who we were as a country.’
‘If you say majority-minority, that becomes a huge fact in the national discourse.’
A 2014 study also found that white Americans who were assigned to read about the changing demographic were more likely to report negative feelings toward racial minorities.
While the projections did touch on race, this time the Census Bureau did not mention when white Americans would fall below half the population as it did in 2014 (pictured)
They were also more likely support restrictive immigration policies and more likely to believe that white people would lose status and face discrimination in the racial shift.
A number of researchers don’t even agree with the Bureau’s projections, arguing that it uses an outdated classification system.
New York sociologist Richard Alba said the Bureau classifies someone as a minority even if they have both white and minority ancestry and may identify as white or partly white.
‘The census data is distorting the on-the-ground realities of ethnicity and race,’ he said. ‘There might never be a majority-minority society, it’s unclear.’
A study published earlier this year also found that presenting the Bureau’s data differently can have a much more positive reaction.
It discovered that when people read about how the white category was getting bigger by absorbing multiracial people through intermarriage, they did not report negative reactions to the Bureau’s projections.