While white Americans still account for 60% of the total US population, the white share is fast declining because more and more counties are fast becoming majority non-white according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Hispanic, Black, and Asian-origin populations are growing throughout the US based on recent data from the US Census Bureau.
Experts believe that this is due to the rising number of Hispanic and Asian immigrants and the slightly higher birth rate among non-white Americans. The trend also shows that the shift towards diversity could happen sooner than originally predicted. Based on recent figures, the study has found that there are 239 US Counties that have populations that are majority non-white. Most of these are in the Southern part of the US and the East Coast. A large percentage of non-whites also live in California. The trend has been happening for many decades but a significant shift happened between 2000 to 2008 when 109 counties in 22 states, went from being majority white to majority non-white.
Counties that remain majority white are also expected to “flip” in the following years with those like Fairfax County, Virginia; Pima County, Arizona; Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; and Cobb County, Georgia counting only a little over 50% (less than 52%) as white. Trends in immigration and population movements show that non-white will soon become the majority in these counties as well in the next few years.
US Counties Where Whites Are A Minority
According to Pew Research, there are 151 US counties where Hispanics, blacks, or American Indians and Alaska Natives make up a big percentage of the population. “Overall, 69 counties were majority Hispanic in 2018, 72 were majority black and 10 were majority American Indian or Alaska Native,” the research adds. Counties with the most number of Hispanic, black, or indigenous people are found in the South and Southwest of the United States.
It’s also interesting to note that while Asian immigrants are increasing in numbers in the US, based on the data, there are no US counties where Asians accounted for more than half of the population. But this too could change as the country goes through drastic shifts in the next couple of years.
“The Latino population grew at a faster rate than most other racial or ethnic groups during the 2000s, due to relatively high birth rates among Hispanic women and immigration from Latin America,” the study explains. Texas is home to around 10 counties with the largest Hispanic population. Out of all these counties in Texas, Starr County has the biggest concentration of Hispanic people. The Hispanic population also grew in other larger counties in other parts of the US. San Bernardino County, California is the most populous county that turned majority Hispanic from 2000 to 2018. Although the largest increase in Hispanic population during that period was seen in Osceola County, Florida.
The black share of the overall US population has remained the same but the concentration of the population has changed in recent years over two decades. According to the Pew study, the number of majority-black counties grew from 65 to 72 between 2000 to 2018. “One contributing factor may be the migration of black Americans from the North to the South and from the cities to the suburbs,” researchers explain. Most of these majority-black counties are located in the South, and the highest numbers of black residents are now found in Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia.
The data also shows that there are eight US counties with a majority American Indian population and two other counties composed of majority Alaska Natives. All of the 10 counties with a majority American Indian population are located right inside or near reservation land spread throughout the Midwest and the West. Most of these counties have fewer than 20,000 residents save for McKinley County, New Mexico, and Apache County, Arizona which all have around 72,000 residents.
The two counties composed of a population that’s majority Alaska Natives are located in rural Alaska—Bethel Census Area and Nome Census Area.
According to noted demographer and author of "Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America" William H. Frey, because more minority babies than white babies were born in 2011 soon most children in America will be racial minorities—Hispanics, blacks, Asians, and other nonwhite races. He also believes that in the next couple of years the entire under 18-population will be majority non-white.
In his thought-provoking and award-winning book he also explains how in the next three decades or so, whites will become a minority in America. There is set to be a diversity explosion in the next couple of years says the author, and the US is poised to be even more multiracial.