Demographers say that 2010 will be the "tipping point" at which more non-white babies are born in the U.S. than white ones for the first time. Here's a brief look at how America's growing, and what its future might look like:
What data is supporting this prediction?
Though the 2010 census numbers aren't in, the trend is clear. In 2008 — the most recent year for which we have data — 48 percent of newborns had non-white parents, up from 37 percent in 1990.
How did 2008 break down by race?
In 2008, 52 percent of babies born were Caucasian, 25 percent were Hispanic, 15 percent were African-American, 4 percent Asian, and the other 4 percent were identified by parents as multiracial.
What's behind the demographic shift?
Immigration is a key factor, particularly among Hispanic women of childbearing age. Hispanic women in the U.S. also typically bear an average of 2.99 children, more than whites (1.87), blacks (2.13), and Asians (2.04). Adding to the shift, there are now 19 percent fewer white women of childbearing age than there were in 1990.
When will America, in general, become less than 50 percent white?
Probably around 2050. Whites still make up two-thirds of the U.S. population, but about 10 percent of U.S. counties are already more minority than white. "Census projections suggest America may become a minority-majority country by the middle of the century," says University of New Hampshire sociologist Kenneth Johnson.
Is the ratio of minority births growing everywhere?
No, there are pockets where the white population is growing faster than the minority one. Fayette County, Tenn., an area of suburban sprawl outside Memphis, is getting whiter, says Johnson, as are the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.