THE HILL: ”America’s White Majority Is Aging Out”
08/08/2023
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From The Hill:

America’s white majority is aging out

BY DANIEL DE VISÉ – 08/07/23 6:00 AM ET

Generation Z will be the last generation of Americans with a white majority, according to census data. The nation’s so-called majority minority arrived with Generation Alpha, those born since about 2010.

Barely two decades from now, around 2045, non-Hispanic white people will fall below half as a share of the overall U.S. population.

Those conclusions, and the numbers behind them, seem simple enough. Yet, some scholars contend that the numbers are wrong, or at least misleading, and that the looming ascent of a majority-minority America is a myth.

America’s white majority, and its numbered days, is a lightning-rod topic, given the nation’s history of slavery and enduring patterns of discrimination against minorities and immigrants.

Demographers and economists celebrate the nation’s growing diversity as vital to a prosperous future. Other voices vilify racial change as a threat to the nation’s white heritage….

Generational data from the 2020 census shows the upward march of racial diversity by age group. Non-Hispanic white people make up 77 percent of the over age 75 population, 67 percent of the age 55-64 population, 55 percent of the 35-44 cohort, and barely half of the 18-24 age group. America’s children are only 47 percent non-Hispanic white, according to an analysis released this week by William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. 

By 2045, according to census projections, non-Hispanic white people will fall below 50 percent as a share of the American population. By 2050, non-Hispanic white people will represent less than 40 percent of the under-18 population.

Demographers warn, however, that those milestones vastly oversimplify the story of a diversifying America.

For a start, millions of Americans no longer embrace a single racial identity. How many? It’s hard to tell.

Getting back to those census projections: By 2045, more than 18 million people will claim two or more races. Subtract them from the total, and the population of non-Hispanic white people leaps from 49 percent to 52 percent of the remaining population, their majority status restored.

“Whites are going to be the largest group in this country for a long time,” said Richard Alba, distinguished professor emeritus in sociology at the City University of New York. 

Alba argues that the census itself is “locked into a way of thinking that dates to the 20th century, and that’s the idea that people are only one thing when it comes to ethnicity and race.”

People of mixed race “have relatively fluid identities,” Alba said. “They can think of themselves as white, they can think of themselves as minority, or they can think of themselves as mixed.”

Well, what are the incentives these days? Perhaps if the Supreme Court outlaws all affirmative action, the incentives will change.

But right now we see the Biden Administration planning to lop off a chunk of the white population into a new Middle Eastern and North African race because activists think it will help them get affirmative action benefits.

You can see how much thinking is dominated by simple bigotry about who are the good guys and who are the bad guys: Thus, whites are the bad guys who benefit from all that sweet sweet White Privilege, so of course lots of people would like to identify as white.

In reality, of course, the last 55 years have been completely different with a general Flight from White. Whereas the 1950 and 1960 Census didn’t have a separate Hispanic category because Hispanics wanted to be considered white, by 1970, a new category called ethnicity was invented so Hispanics could have their affirmative action and their whiteness too. For the 1980 Census, South Asians demanded to be let out of the unprofitable white category so they could get government contracting preferences like their Chinese rivals did. Now, the Biden Administration wants to reward Middle Easterners by excusing them from the white category so they can get to work on obtaining affirmative action.

But nobody can connect the dots, because we are supposed to think of America as a White Supremacist country with White Privilege and other brain-crushing cliches.

Consider an American with three grandparents who are non-Hispanic white people, and one who is Black, Hispanic or Asian. Simple math suggests labeling that person as white. But long-standing American tradition might favor a “minority” identity.

The practice of labeling mixed-race Americans as minorities dates to the 1600s and the racist “one-drop” rule, which held that a person with any Black ancestry should be counted as Black.

The nation engaged in racial reductivism as recently as 2008, scholars say, when America unblinkingly identified its new mixed-race president as Black.

Demographers point to other curiosities in how the census handles race. The agency counts people of Middle Eastern or North African descent as white, even though many of them do not see themselves as white. Americans from nearby Afghanistan and Pakistan, meanwhile, are termed Asian.

Writing in The Atlantic in 2021, Alba, Myers and Morris Levy reasoned that the “myth” of a coming majority-minority America was both false and divisive.

“In the minds of many Americans,” they wrote, “this ethno-racial transition betokens political, cultural, and social upheaval, because a white majority has dominated the nation since its founding.”

White nationalists have seized on “replacement theory,” which holds that liberal elites are promoting immigration and interracial marriage to “replace” non-Hispanic white people with people of color, all to disempower whites.

When white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, some of them chanted, “You will not replace us.” …

In any case, demographers say, America will need a diverse population if it is to prosper in the decades to come.

The nation’s median age is 38.9, the highest it has ever been. Median age is rising because the national birthrate is falling. These trends threaten to deplete the American workforce: Fewer workers means less growth.

An obviously interesting question, but not one any academic would look into, is whether immigration reduces native-born fertility due to less affordable family formation.

[Comment at Unz.com]

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