For the first time, the white share of the U.S. population has dropped below 60%, with more than 40% identifying themselves as multiracial or of color, according to the once-a-decade survey. Specifically, the white population of the United States fell from 223.6 million in 2010 to 204.3 million in 2020, a decline of 8.6 % over a 10-year period.
The number of Hispanics or Latinos, the nation's second-largest group, grew 23% in the past decade. In California, for the first time, the Hispanic or Latino population is the largest group. Most of America's 3,042 counties, though, are still predominantly white. But nonwhite residents made up the majority of the population in 289 counties, up from 260 in 2010. According to calculations by the National Bureau of Statistics, there was a 61.1% chance in 2020 that two randomly selected people would be of different races and ethnicity, up from 54.9% in 2010.
In addition, the number identifying as belonging to more than one race increased significantly, from 1.9% in 2010 to 4.1% in 2020. It's worth noting that while the white share of the United States has declined since 2010, the proportion of Americans who identify as white and also identify as someone of another race has risen 316% over the same period.
Over the past decade, the US population grew by just 7.4%, the lowest since the 1930s. The adult population is growing faster than the overall population, and the under-18 population has declined.
According to census results, the population of U.S. adults (age 18 and older) grew 10.1% in the past decade to 258.3 million.
More than three-quarters of the U.S. population, or 77.9%, are 18 or older, said Andrew Roberts, chief of the Gender and Age Statistical Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau's Population Division. The adult population is growing faster than the country as a whole. By comparison, there were 73.1 million people under the age of 18 in 2020, down 1.4% from the 2010 census.
Further analysis of the data by demographers showed that the number of white children fell by nearly 13% to 47.3%, the first time it fell below 50% on record. That's a pretty serious drop. Increases in the number of Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial children offset declines in white children.
The data mean that terms like "majority" and "minority" no longer capture much of the country's demographics. The U.S. Census Bureau and others have long used the terms "majority" and "minority" to refer to "white" and "non-white," respectively.
The data are also the basis for the redrawing of 429 House districts in 44 states and 7,383 state legislative districts across the country.
Overall demographics released in April show the growing influence of sunbelt states. Thanks to population growth, these states gained seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, largely in favor of Republicans.
However, some researchers have questioned the accuracy of the data, as the 2020 census saw a record number of incomplete responses.