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Welcome to your demographic future, Charlotte, North Carolina.

A majority-minority population is only a matter of time here in the United States. As we learned last year, more than 50 percent of the country's newborn population younger than a year old were minorities by 2011. Now, according to the latest annual county-by-county population data released by the Census Bureau Thursday, the same can almost be said for all U.S. children younger than five. As of this latest data release, based on numbers collected in the summer of 2012, non-white children now make up 49.9 percent of the U.S. population under age five.

The geography of these new demographics is also expanding. Since July of 2011, six more counties have become majority-minority, including Mecklenburg, North Carolina, home to that state's largest city, Charlotte. Also on the list: four smaller counties in Texas (including the area around Fort Hood), and little Cherokee County, Oklahoma.

Today, only 11 percent of the nation's counties look like America is expected to by some time around 2043 (that's 353 counties out of more than 3,000). The vast majority of America's largest urban counties, however, are already majority-minority, defined by the Census Bureau as containing a majority of people who identify themselves in a category other than "non-Hispanic White" alone.

The following is a list of counties among the 25 largest in the U.S. where minorities are already the majority (only six of the 25 largest counties don't have this distinction, including King County, Washington, around Seattle, and Manhattan). When we first posted this story, we provided a list of large counties by the percentage of their white population, not the percentage of their non-Hispanic white population, a list that inaccurately reflected the state of majority-minority urban America today. Many thanks to the readers who pointed out the problem, and my apologies for the inaccuracy. This list more accurately reflects the largest counties where "minorities," as the Census defines them, already compose the majority of the local population:

  • Los Angeles County, Calif.
  • Cook County, Ill.
  • Harris County, Texas
  • San Diego County, Calif
  • Orange County, Calif.
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla.
  • Kings County, New York
  • Dallas County, Texas
  • Queens County, New York
  • Riverside County, Calif.
  • San Bernardino County, Calif.
  • Clark County, Nev.
  • Santa Clara County, Calif.
  • Wayne County, Mich.
  • Broward County, Fla.
  • Bexar County, Texas
  • Philadelphia County, Penn.
  • Alameda County, Calif.
  • Sacramento County, Calif.

Top image of Charlotte, N.C.: SeanPavonePhoto /Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Emily Badger

Emily Badger is a former staff writer at CityLab. Her work has previously appeared in Pacific StandardGOODThe Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times. She lives in the Washington, D.C. area.

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