Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.
More than half of all babies now born in America are minorities. Here's how that's already playing out at the metropolitan level.
New population estimates were recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau showing that, for the first time, the majority of Americans under the age of 1 are minorities. Or more specifically that white, non-Hispanic babies now make up less than half of the population younger than 1.
It's part of a demographic shift that's expected to create a minority-majority nationwide population sometime within the next 40 or 50 years. California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas have already passed that threshold at the state level.
So what about cities?
Well, metro-level data isn't yet publicly available. But with the data there is, we've put together something of a proxy to show just how much of the very young U.S. population is made up of what we may eventually no longer know as minorities.
The most recent data available through the Census Bureau's Population Estimates section are at the county level, with granular figures down to the level of ages 4 and under. Counties are the basis for the Bureau's tabulation of metropolitan-scale populations, so this set of figures can stand in to represent metro-level numbers. To simplify things, single counties were used to determine metro-level rates of minorities in this age bracket. Representative counties for each metro were determined by highest county-level population in this list [PDF] of MSAs.
The list below shows the highest rates of minority populations among the 4 and under age group for the 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. It should be re-emphasized that these are approximations of metro-level data based on single data from single counties, and are only intended to serve as a proxy for trying to understand how this nationwide shift to minority-majority young children plays out on a metro/city level.
|Population Rank||Metropolitan Statistical Area||Representative County||Minority Population Under Age 5|
|2||Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA||Los Angeles||83.47%|
|8||Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach, FL||Miami-Dade||82.60%|
|4||Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX||Dallas||80.97%|
|24||San Antonio–New Braunfels, TX||Bexar||80.00%|
|31||San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA||Santa Clara||78.74%|
|5||Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX||Harris||78.71%|
|11||San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA||Alameda||78.05%|
|12||Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA||Riverside||76.36%|
|6||Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD||Philadelphia, PA||73.38%|
|41||Memphis, TN-MS-AR||Shelby, TN||71.76%|
|9||Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA||Fulton||69.46%|
|3||Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL–IN–WI||Cook, IL||68.72%|
|30||Las Vegas-Paradise, NV||Clark||67.89%|
|17||San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA||San Diego||67.04%|
|34||Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX||Travis||66.07%|
|7||Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV||Montgomery, MD||64.66%|
|1||New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–PA||Kings, NY||64.08%|
|39||Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI||Milwaukee||63.70%|
|18||Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL||Hillsborough||60.85%|
|33||Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC||Mecklenburg, NC||60.71%|
|46||New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA||Jefferson||58.57%|
|43||Oklahoma City, OK||Oklahoma||57.88%|
|45||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT||Hartford||52.20%|
|38||Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA||Providence, RI||52.19%|
|29||Kansas City, MO-KS||Jackson, MO||49.68%|
|16||Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI||Hennepin, MN||47.62%|
|27||Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN||Hamilton, OH||45.56%|
|19||St. Louis, MO–IL||St. Louis, MO||43.16%|
|23||Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA||Multnomah, OR||42.90%|
|42||Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN||Jefferson, KY||42.39%|
|49||Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY||Erie||36.64%|
|48||Salt Lake City, UT||Salt Lake||36.14%|
|36||Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||York, VA||36.01%|
|10||Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH||Middlesex, MA||34.62%|
As you can see, most of the largest metropolitan areas have already passed the minority-majority population threshold for their young populations. Indeed, 36 of the top 50 metros are in this group. Only one of the top 10, Boston, is below that threshold, with just about 34 percent of its under 5 population representing at least one minority.
Note how many metros are far beyond the 50 percent mark. Eight metros are above 75 percent.
As these demographics continue to shift, it's likely that urban areas will be fueling much of America's future minority-majority.
Photo credit: Reuters