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White births in US no longer in majority: report

world Updated: May 17, 2012 16:14 IST

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White births in the United States are no longer in the majority, according to US Census Bureau data made public on Thursday, a newspaper reported.

Minority races -- Hispanics, blacks and Asians and other mixed races -- accounted for 50.4% of births over the year to July, accounting for a majority for the first time in US history, the New York Times said.

The demographic milestone had been expected for years in a country founded by European whites and that early on relied heavily on the work of enslaved African populations, then went through a civil war and civil rights battle over issues of race.

In recent years, the growth of Hispanic populations immigrating from Latin America has hastened a decline in the majority status of white births, the census data suggested.

That trend is expected to continue, with Hispanics "squarely within their peak fertility," with a population median age of 27, according to the report, citing Pew Hispanic Center demographer Jeffrey Passel.

In the period between 2000 and 2010, more Hispanic births were recorded in the United States than Hispanics immigrants arriving in the country, Passel said, according to the Times.

Whites still maintain the largest single share of the total births, at 49.6%, according to the census data, and remain the majority -- 63.4% -- of the population as a whole.

The tipping point represents a "transformation from a mostly white baby boomer culture to the more globalized multi-ethnic country that we are becoming," William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, told the Times.