Whites to become minority in U.S. by 2050

WASHINGTON Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:26am EST

New York's Seventh Avenue in a November 2007 photo. Non-Hispanic whites will become a minority in the United States by 2050, with immigrants and their children driving 82 percent of U.S. population growth in coming years, a new study said on Monday. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

New York's Seventh Avenue in a November 2007 photo. Non-Hispanic whites will become a minority in the United States by 2050, with immigrants and their children driving 82 percent of U.S. population growth in coming years, a new study said on Monday.

Credit: Reuters/Ray Stubblebine

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Non-Hispanic whites will become a minority in the United States by 2050, with immigrants and their children driving 82 percent of U.S. population growth in coming years, a new study said on Monday.

The U.S. population will grow to 438 million in 2050 from 296 million in 2005 if current population trends continue, the Pew Research Center study found.

Non-Hispanic whites would account for 47 percent of the total in 2050, it concluded.

By that time, one in every five Americans will be a foreign-born immigrant, compared to one in eight in 2005.

"Of the 117 million people added to the population in this period due to the effect of new immigration, 67 million will be the immigrants themselves and 50 million will be their U.S.-born children or grandchildren," the study said.

While the white population, with its lower fertility rate, ages, the Latino population, the nation's largest minority, will triple in size. Latinos will be responsible for 60 percent of the population growth until 2050.

They will account for 29 percent of the population, or 128 million in 2050, up from 14 percent now, the study said.

"The number of whites will increase, but only by 4 percent," said D'Vera Cohn, one of the report's authors.

The Asian population will almost double in percentage terms, from 5 to 9 percent, while blacks will remain around 13 percent of the total, the report said.

At the same time, the elderly population will more than double as the baby boom generation retires. The number of children and working-age people will grow more slowly.

Almost half of the new immigrants arriving the country will be from Latin American countries, said the other author of the study, Jeffrey S. Passel from the Pew Hispanic Center.

(Reporting by Adriana Garcia, Editing by Missy Ryan and Eric Walsh)

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