An analysis of data from the 1990, 2000, and 2010 decennial censuses reveals that:
- New minorities—Hispanics, Asians, and other groups apart from whites, blacks, and American Indians—account for all of the growth among the nation’s child population. From 2000 to 2010, the population of white children nationwide declined by 4.3 million, while the population of Hispanic and Asian children grew by 5.5 million.
- In almost half of states and nearly one-third of large metro areas, child populations declined in the 2000s. White child populations dropped in 46 states and 86 of the 100 largest metro areas, but gains of new minority children forestalled more widespread overall declines in youth.
- In areas of the country gaining children, Hispanics accounted for most of that growth. Fully 95 percent of Texas’s child population growth occurred among Hispanics. Los Angeles was the only major metropolitan area to witness a decline in Hispanic children from 2000 to 2010.
- Ten states and 35 large metro areas now have minority white child populations. Child populations in the Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando, and Phoenix metro areas flipped to “majority minority” by 2010.
- Segregation levels for black and Hispanic children are higher than for their adult counterparts, despite a general reduction in segregation over the last 10 years. The average black or Hispanic child lives in a neighborhood where whites make up 10 percent less of the population than in the neighborhood of the average black or Hispanic adult.
- The accelerating growth of new minority children heralds an increasingly diverse future child population and labor force. While this transition presents challenges for America’s social and political systems, it also represents a clear demographic advantage for the nation and its regions versus its developed peers, one which savvy leaders will capitalize upon in the years and decades to come.