The percentage of non-Hispanic whites in the U.S. is now at the lowest level in U.S. history, according to data from the Census Bureau.
America's racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group, the Census Bureau said on Thursday.
Racial and ethnic minorities are now growing more rapidly in numbers than whites, fueled by immigration and high birth rates.
Non-white children under the age of 18 are expected to overtake the number of white children by 2019, the Bureau said last year.
Indeed, the U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation sometime around mid-century.
The population of non-Hispanic whites was 197.7 million last year, about 63 percent of the total population.
The total estimated U.S. population climbed 0.75 percent last year to 313,914,040. The relatively small increase in population in 2012 was most likely due to the nation’s weak economic performance in recent years.
“If you look at the last few years, it’s hard to tie the slow growth to a rational argument that doesn’t involve the economy,” John Seager, president of the Population Connection, a Washington-based research organization, told Bloomberg.
Also, the changing demographics in the U.S. has led to debates about whether programs such as affirmative action in college admissions should be revamped to focus more on income rather than race and ethnicity.
Inequality between rich and poor in the U.S. has reached to its highest level since 1970, making opportunities to reach the middle class increasingly difficult.
That rising inequality has been particularly noticeable for black and Hispanic families compared with white families, according to recent a study from the Urban Institute.
As of 2010, white families, on average, earned about twice as much as black and Hispanic families, a ratio that has remained quite unchanged for the last three decades.