10 Facts About Children of Color in the United States


Written by Vanessa Cárdenas

New data from the Census Bureau reveal that children of color now make up the majority of new births in the United States. Here are 10 important facts about how youth of color are faring in the United States today:

1. Most new births in 2011 were children of color. As of July 1, 2011, 50.4 percent of our nation’s children under age 1 were children of color. Children of color have become the majority in this age range since the 2010 Census, when they made up 49.5 percent of the relevant population. In 2011, 49.7 percent of the population younger than age 5 was nonwhite, up from 49 percent in the preceding year.

2. This demographic change is especially evident in “gateway” states with high concentrations of people of color but it is also happening in nontraditional states. In 12 states and the District of Columbia, the majority of children under the age of 5 are children of color. At current growth rates several states, including North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, and Connecticut, could become majority young children of color in the next decade.

3. A majority of all children of color live in California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois according to the Children’s Fund. The majority of Hispanic children live in three states: California, Texas, and Florida. The majority of Asian/Pacific Islander children live in four states: California, Texas, New York, and New Jersey. The majority of American Indian/Alaska Native children live in seven states. And the majority of black children live in eight states: New York, Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Maryland.

4. Students of color are already the majority in many public primary schools nationwide. In the 2008-09 school year, nonwhite students made up 55.1 percent of enrollment in public primary schools in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.

5. About 62 percent of foreign-born family households included children under 18, compared with 47 percent of native-born households.Multigenerational households—with three or more generations living together—were more common among foreign-born (10 percent) than native-born (5 percent) family households. Among the regions of birth, family households with a householder born in Latin America and the Caribbean were the most likely to include children under 18 (70 percent), followed by Africa (67 percent) and Asia (56 percent).

6. The vast majority of Latinos under age 18 are U.S. citizens. As of 2007 an additional 1 percent of them were naturalized U.S. citizens and less than 10 percent of Latino children under 18 years old were noncitizens.

7. Many children of color are growing up in bilingual households. In 2007,55.4 million Americans 5 years old and older spoke a language other than English at home. A 2007 Pew Research Center survey found that fluency in English increases across generations among Hispanics. While less than a quarter of adult first-generation Latinos were proficient in English, 88 percent of second-generation Latino adults and 94 percent of third and higher generations were English proficient.

8. Birthrates among people of color provide us an economic advantage.According to the Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, our nation’s high immigration levels have given the United States a global economic advantage. Unlike nations like Japan and many European countries, which have seen steady declines in their working-age populations, our nation’s strong immigration flow and high birthrates have helped the United States maintain a workforce capable of supporting a growing economy.

9. By 2050 the number of children will increase by more than one-third and the numbers of seniors will more than double. In every state at least one in five residents is a child. In 11 states there are at least twice as many children as seniors. In 2050 the nation’s population of children is expected to be 62 percent children of color.

10. Today’s children will grow up to become the nation’s workforce. By 2050 nearly half of the people in our workforce will be people of color. Our children today will shape our future and now is the time to invest in these communities.

The Census Bureau’s projections show a transformation in our nation that is rapidly approaching. We need to make the success of children of color a priority to ensure our nation’s future success.

This post was originally published by the Center for American Progress.


Related Stories:

Minority Births Outpace White Births in the US

Who Gets to Say What Is African And What Is Not?

NYPD Pot Arrests Target Minorities


Photo from Thinkstock


Huber F.
Huber F.3 years ago


Will Rogers
Will Rogers4 years ago

White mans heaven is a black mans hell.

Bette M.
Bette M.4 years ago

Kathy C. This is not about racism......
It is about COMMON SENSE & about world
overpopulatiom. Have you ever heard
And trust me I know what I'm talking about.
I'm the oldest of 11 & I'm white!!!!
Good lord where have you been???

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Stick that in your pipe & smoke it!!

Billie C.
Billie C.4 years ago

it's not the color it's how the kids are raised. it's when you have kids when you are a kid, when you have 10 kids with a different daddy for each and nobody but the tax payers to support them all is when we have the problems we are having today. children need parents. they need a stable environment to live in and grow. they don't need a momma that is still 14 and going out to party with every tom dick and harry and having a kid by him to get more welfare money. now we have gangs of kids running around robbing and stealing for their gang because they have no real family and going to jail is the in thing to do after you have 5 or 10 kids by 5 or 6 baby mommas. there are no morals being taught only take what you want.

Bette M.
Bette M.4 years ago

Great comment Juliette!!!!!!

And we need a billion more trees......Not people!

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Juliette D.

No Mary, All children shouldn't be societies focus. All children should be their parents' focus. May parents seem to have forgotten that one has a biological duty to make sure their offspring survive. They expect the schools and society to provide for them. They have babies too young, when they have neither a stable home or the where-with-all to provide for them, then continue having children they don't have the money patience or time for. I don't mind helping innocent children of any color, but parenting and child development classes need to be compulsory in high school to go along with it. Need to stop the over breeding, and the terribly dysfunctional parenting of people who are not prepared to be parents.

Bette M.
Bette M.4 years ago

Robert C. I agree.
We need more people of color like a hole in the head. Remember the cat who was taken to court just recently for breeding thirty kids among eleven women?
And we need more people of any color like a hole in the head too. There are seven billion & counting people on this planet. Hmmmmm, are there ever going to be four billion jobs for all the earths adults down the road?!
If there was ever a need for an international law on limiting how many kids one should be allowed to have then this is it.....NOW!

Are we humans so smart we are either nutz or stupid??!! But, what will we hear louder than a bowling ball rolling through the Grand Canyon?....My right to procreate is being taken away!!!!!
Listen up....If man keeps warming up the cold sheets pretty soon we all will be jumping off of cliffs like a trail of lemmings.

Pass out the PILL..........

Wherever you are there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Robert C.
Robert Cruder4 years ago

"Birthrates among people of color provide us an economic advantage"

Adding more cylinders to a car's engine creates more horsepower but consumes more gasoline. Claiming the former as an advantage without recognizing the latter as a disadvantage is criminially misleading.

Japan is dividing its wealth among fewer people over time and replacing human workers by attrition with robots. Eventually, they will be (on the average) very rich with a far smaller environmental footprint than they have today. Each year air will become cleaner and cities will become less crowded. Utopia, perhaps!

By contrast, the U.S. is dividing its wealth among more people, many of whom arrive with great motivation but with skills insufficient to pay the true cost of their living here. Over time, this creates far more unskilled workers than unskilled jobs which bids down wages at all levels. Eventually the U.S. will breed itself into a state of abject poverty (on the average) and will have a far larger environmental footprint than it has today. Each year air will become dirtier and cities will become more crowded. Mexico City or Calcutta, probably!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

such racism i see.. wow

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago