In a new report out Thursday, the U.S. Census Bureau projects the nation will become much more diverse by midcentury, with minorities forecast to become the majority population by 2042, experts said.
The growing national diversity is also a trend seen locally, particularly among Hispanics, experts said.
"It's already happening on Long Island," said Lee Koppelman, director of Stony Brook University's Center for Regional Policy Studies, citing the influx of Hispanics. Recently released census data estimate that Hispanic residents constitute 12.4 percent of Nassau County's population in 2007, up from 10 percent in 2000; and 13.3 percent of Suffolk County's in 2007, up from 10.5 percent in 2000.
"Hispanics are primarily drawn here by economic opportunity," Koppelman continued. "If the economy remains robust on Long Island, this population will continue to expand."
The Census Bureau projects that minorities, now roughly one-third of the nation's population, will become the majority by 2042, and grow to 54 percent by 2050. Hispanics are projected to nearly triple their numbers -- rising from an estimated 46.7 million today to just under 133 million by 2050, out of a projected total U.S. population of 439 million.
The black population is expected to rise from 41.1 million, or 14 percent of the nation's population today, to 65.7 million, or 15 percent by 2050. The Asian population is projected to rise from 15.5 million people now, or 5.1 percent of the U.S. population, to 40.6 million, or 9.2 percent, by 2050.
By contrast, non-Hispanic whites' share of the nation's population is projected to drop from 66 percent currently to 46 percent by 2050. Their population numbers are projected to remain stable, going from an estimated 199.8 million today, to 203.3 million by 2050.
Census officials also expect the nation's population to grow older, projecting that by 2050 one in five Americans will be age 65 and older.
Experts said the emerging demographic shift had social, economic and political implications...
Census report sees minorities becoming majority by 2042 -- Newsday.com