The first race and ethnicity breakdowns from the 2020 Census, released Thursday, show a more diverse population than ever in the nation’s history.
The report marks the first time the absolute number of people who identify as White alone has shrunk since a census started being taken in 1790. The number of people identifying as non-Hispanic White and of no other race dropped by 5.1 million people, to 191.7 million, a decrease of 2.6 percent, as reported in the Washington Post.
The country also passed two more milestones on its way to becoming a majority-minority society in the coming decades: For the first time, the portion of White people dipped below 60 percent, slipping from 63.7 percent in 2010 to 57.8 percent in 2020.
And the under-18 population is now the majority of people of color, at 52.7 percent.
The new data shows how the ethnic, racial, and voting-age makeup of neighborhoods shifted over the past decade, based on the national house-to-house canvass last year.
It is the data most state legislatures and local governments use to redraw political districts for the next 10 years.
It indicates that the country is “much more multiracial and much more racially and ethnically diverse than what we measured in the past,” said Nicholas Jones, director and senior adviser of race and ethnic research and outreach at the Census Bureau’s population division.
“Twenty years ago if you told people this was going to be the case, they wouldn’t have believed you,” he said of the White decline. “The country is changing dramatically.”