NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 17, 2007

The nation's minority population has topped 100 million for the first time and now makes up about a third of the United States.  Hispanics are fanning out to more states across the nation, creating a sharp contrast between their predominantly young numbers and those of an aging white society, according to new Census population estimates.

Census estimates show:

  • Hispanics remain the largest minority group at 44.3 million and accounted for almost half the nation's growth of 2.9 million from July 1, 2005, to July 1, 2006.
  • The non-Hispanic white school-age population dropped 4 percent since 2000, while the number of Hispanic school-age kids surged 21 percent; the white under-15 population declined in all but nine states since 2000.


  • The white population has shrunk in 16 states this decade, including California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts; the declines stem chiefly from migration to other states.
  • New England is becoming the new Florida as the median age climbs in most states in the region.
  • Maine has the nation's oldest median age (41.1), up from third place in 2000 and Vermont (40.4) moved up to second place from fifth; the U.S. median is 36.4.
  • Florida still has the largest share of people 65 and older (16.8 percent), but it is aging more slowly than other states; its median age is 39.6, ranking it fourth.

"The pronounced differences between Hispanic populations and non-Hispanic populations agewise sets the stage in coming decades for very different political agendas," says Peter Morrison, demographer at the RAND Corp.  "One population is going to form the core of the working age population by all indications.  The other one is aging.  (There are) two very different sets of economic interests: People who want health care vs. people who want jobs."

Source: Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg, "Nation's minority numbers tops 100M," USA Today, May 17, 2007.

For text:


Browse more articles on Government Issues