According to a new report, in roughly 30 years, the United States of America will be the world's first major post-industrial society to see its population tip from majority white to minority ethnic groups comprising the majority of the population, largely due to the influx of Hispanic immigrants.
An Associated Press demographics study found that white Americans, who currently comprise 63% of the U.S. population, are projected to peak at 200 million people in 2024 and drop below 50% of the country's population by 2043.
Since the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, about 650,000 immigrants a year have come from Latin America and Asia, which surpasses the influx of European immigrants from 1820-1920.
The changing face of America will have many political ramifications, as has been seen in the current debates over amnesty, immigration reform, affirmative action, and government spending.
The study found that more U.S. babies are now born to minorities than whites, and more than 45% of students in the nation's elementary schools are minorities. In five years, the number of minorities in elementary schools nationwide will surpass 50%.
In addition, while Washington, D.C., Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Texas now have minority populations greater than 50 percent, the study found that eight more states--Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York--will join this list by 2020.
By 2039, the study found that minorities will make up a majority of the U.S. working-age population, and they will help support an aging Baby Boom population that is disproportionately white through Social Security and payroll taxes. Furthermore, those of Hispanic heritage will make up more than a quarter of the country's population by 2039.
The report also found that nearly 35% of Hispanic babies are born into poverty, and the challenge for Republicans will be to convince minorities that conservative policies can best lift them out of poverty while not pandering to these various communities.
Researchers noted every past wave of immigrants has assimilated into America's melting pot, but there may be less incentive for some communities to do so now. Convincing minorities that assimilation offers them the best opportunities to succeed in America will be another challenge for conservatives going forward.
Researchers at Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and NORC at the University of Chicago helped the Associated Press conduct the survey.