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Whites Will Soon Be A Minority Of The U.S. Population

kids-globe

The demographic shifts in U.S. population has been going on for quite some time now, with the biggest changes taking place largely because of declining birth rates among white American and a combination of immigration and higher birth rates among minority groups, especially Latinos. Now, we are about to reach a point where white Americans will no longer be 50% of the population in a very short period of time:

For the first time, America’s racial and ethnic minorities now make up about half of the under-5 age group, the government said Thursday. It’s a historic shift that shows how young people are at the forefront of sweeping changes by race and class.

The new census estimates, a snapshot of the U.S. population as of July 2012, comes a year after the Census Bureau reported that whites had fallen to a minority among babies. Fueled by immigration and high rates of birth, particularly among Hispanics, racial and ethnic minorities are now growing more rapidly in numbers than whites.

Based on current rates of growth, whites in the under-5 group are expected to tip to a minority this year or next, Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s acting director, said.

The government also projects that in five years, minorities will make up more than half of children under 18. Not long after, the total U.S. white population will begin an inexorable decline in absolute numbers, due to aging baby boomers.

(…)

The latest census numbers show:

—The population younger than 5 stood at 49.9 percent minority in 2012.

—For the first time in more than a century, the number of deaths now exceeds births among white Americans. This “natural decrease” occurred several years before the government’s original projection, a sign of the white population decline soon to arrive. For now, the white population is still increasing slightly, due to immigration from Europe.

—As a whole, the nonwhite population increased by 1.9 percent to 116 million, or 37 percent of the U.S. The fastest percentage growth is among multiracial Americans, followed by Asians and Hispanics. Non-Hispanic whites make up 63 percent of the U.S.; Hispanics, 17 percent; blacks, 12.3 percent; Asians, 5 percent; and multiracial Americans, 2.4 percent.

—About 353 of the nation’s 3,143 counties, or 11 percent, are now “majority-minority.” Six of those counties tipped to that status last year: Mecklenburg, N.C.; Cherokee, Okla.; Texas, Okla.; Bell, Texas; Hockley, Texas; and Terrell, Texas.

—In 2012, 13 states and the District of Columbia had an under-5 age population that was “majority-minority,” up from five states in 2000. In 25 states and the District of Columbia, minorities now make up more than 40 percent of the under-5 group.

—Among the under-5 age group, 22 percent live in poverty, typically in more rural states such as Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Black toddlers were most likely to be poor, at 41 percent, followed by Hispanics at 32 percent and whites at 13 percent. Asian toddlers had a poverty rate of 11 percent.

Non-Hispanic Whites will remain the largest racial demographic in the U.S. for quite some time to come, of course, but they’ll be a minority of the total population as a whole and, as the racial makeup of the country continues to change, I suspect we’ll start finding that “multiracial” becoming an ever-growing portion of the population, especially given the fact that we will be living in an America where younger generations don’t place nearly as much importance on racial and ethnic identity as those that came before them. That alone, if and when it happens, will be a good thing.

Politically, of course, this presents the Republican Party with a stark reality. Adapt, or become a minority of your own.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. nitpicker says:

    There’s something I don’t like about the way these stories are reported–even the nonjudgmental ones like the story above. I find it somewhat racially clueles that reporters, in order to make this story true, have to consider all ethnic minorities in one single pile. In other words, they’re tacitly implying there are two types of people in the country, white people and not-white people. It bugs me.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 63 Thumb down 19

  2. Tony W says:

    @nitpicker: Agree – it is similar to calling the President “black” – as if his father’s blackness is a pollutant to his mother’s white genetics.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 33 Thumb down 19

  3. Ben says:

    @Tony W:

    @nitpicker: Agree – it is similar to calling the President “black” – as if his father’s blackness is a pollutant to his mother’s white genetics.

    Except that Obama self-identifies as black, so it’s not quite as racist a position as you’re making it out to be. This is one of the areas where I let people come up with their own definitions for themselves.

    The reason why it’s a valid way of looking at things (white vs. everyone else) is precisely because it means that for electoral purposes, it will cease to be a winning strategy to market yourself only to whites.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I suspect we’ll start finding that “multiracial” becoming an ever-growing portion of the population, especially given the fact that we will be living in an America where younger generations don’t place nearly as much importance on racial and ethnic identity as those that came before them. That alone, if and when it happens, will be a good thing.

    That great sucking sound you just heard? It was Superdestroyer’s head imploding.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Tony W:

    Agree – it is similar to calling the President “black” – as if his father’s blackness is a pollutant to his mother’s white genetics.

    Ever hear of the “One Drop Rule”? If you had one drop of black blood in you, you were black. This is not something blacks chose, it was something enforced by the majority whites. And, Like it or not, there is a large segment of American society today that STILL feels his father’s blackness WAS/IS a pollutant to his mother’s pure white blood.

    Let us get real here, if Obama came up to a racist and said he was white, do you really think he would be treated as any less a ni66er? Would you, looking at him for the first time think “What a funny looking white man?”

    Obama did not choose to call himself a black man. He accepted the fact that in society’s eyes, that’s what he was. And still is. And always will be. That is just the way it is. Saying he had a “choice”? Is willful blindness.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 14

  6. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d love to know who SD is rooting for in the NBA finals – minority-majority Miami or minority-majority San Antonio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  7. Nikki says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you for this. It annoys me to the extreme when folks want to nitpick about whether Obama is black or half-white. Obama is black because that is the rule that white folks came up with many generations ago. Deal with it.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 8

  8. murray says:

    @nitpicker: Reporters aren’t creating any groups they are just pointing out that whites, who currently are still a majority of the population as a whole, will soon be less than 50% of the population, i.e. a minority.

    You don’t need to “consider all [other] ethnic minorities in one single pile” to make it work.

    Whites will still be the largest minority, but a minority nevertheless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  9. Phillip says:

    an America where younger generations don’t place nearly as much zero importance on racial and ethnic identity
    FTFY

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  10. nitpicker says:

    @murray: So the headline should be “Whites to become merely a plurality.” Because calling whites a “minority” only works if you, yes, pile up all other ethnicities and pretend that pile still makes sense as a group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    I’d love to know who SD is rooting for in the NBA finals –

    He’s rooting for the Hurricanes, and no, I don’t mean the team.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Nikki: Not the first time I have said that, won’t be the last.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Sam Malone says:

    Somewhere Pat Buchanan is crying like a little baby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  14. Brett says:

    We’ll probably just see “white” re-defined to incorporate a larger chunk of the population, particularly a wide range of hispanics (hence the whole “hispanic white” option that has come up on surveys in recent years). Or we’ll stop caring about racial classification altogether except for research on ancestry.

    Lord knows “hispanic” is an incredibly vague category.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  15. JohnMcC says:

    A little historical fact: Mr Homer Plessy who was arrested for riding in a ‘whites only’ railroad coach in New Orleans and whose lost case in the Supreme Court made ‘separate but equal’ the law in America for some 60 years, was 7/8ths caucasian. In the language of his time and place, he was an ‘octoroon’.

    As our Arkansas friend has said, this was because of the so-called ‘one-drop rule’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  16. Andre Kenji says:

    @nitpicker:

    So the headline should be “Whites to become merely a plurality.”

    No, the headline is misleading for other reason. It´s similar to a discussion that happens in Latin America, in some sense you have a majority of the population in most Latin American countries that´s White, in some sense, you have a majority of the population that´s non-White, but in reality it´s a mixture of the two. In Brazil, officially, half of the population is white, in reality, most of this population has African or Native Indian heritage. I would be considered “Asian” in the US, but I also have cousins that would be considered “Hispanic” or “Black”.

    If you are going to bring Blacks to the Middle Class you are going to have Blacks marrying with White people. A similar thing happens to Hispanics, with the difference that many of them are already considered White in their countries. I would say that “multiracial” people are going to be a majority in the US, not that White are going to be a majority.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  17. Gustopher says:

    Has Superdestroyer gone missing? Is this post just bait to encourage him to come back? I hope the little racist is ok, whereever he is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  18. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Gustopher: Maybe he took my advice and decided to strike up a romance with that anti-gay loon on the high-school lesbian statutory rape thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnMcC:

    A little historical fact:

    I had forgotten about old Homer, thanx for the reminder.

    As our Arkansas friend has said,

    Hey! I resent that! I come from a state of Misery! Not that lowdown shiftless Arkansas!

    (Actually, My Arkansas Ozark friends and I have decided we should secede from the Union. We’re going to call it Ozarkistan. Then when the US invades we can get war reparations and become RICH, RICH I TELL YOU!!!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  20. al-Ameda says:

    Let’s not leave out Natural Selection as a factor in why Whites are becoming a minority. If the regular comments by Steve King of Iowa, Todd Akin, Trent Franks, or Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, are any indication of the importance of intelligence to survival and growth, it’s no wonder ‘my people’ are on the way to minority status here in El Norte.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  21. john personna says:

    You know, the highest moral response to this headline is not to read or comment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  22. Neil Hudelson says:

    we will be living in an America where younger generations don’t place nearly as much importance on racial and ethnic identity as those that came before them.

    Or absolutely no importance. As part of that younger generation, every time I see an article like this I think “Wait, do people still give a crap about this?”

    Of course I’ve been in contact with superdestroyer, so unfortunately i know the answer to that question.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  23. rachel says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Is that Bill Hicks? (Don’t really give a crap about my new minority status; just regret Hicks is gone.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  24. John H says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Neil – some of us got to that point in the seventies, and I’m sure others did even earlier, but you’re right – this may be the generation that finally has a real chance to make headway in burying this crap.

    I love the one-drop rule. Seriously. By that standard we are all black/brown/beige/white, since we all have the drop from our common, and not as distant as some imagine, ancestors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  25. sam says:

    @Gustopher:

    Has Superdestroyer gone missing? Is this post just bait to encourage him to come back? I hope the little racist is ok, whereever he is.

    At the moment, CPR and the paddles are being administered to him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  26. stonetools says:

    States like Hawaii are already there. Whites are a plurality, and there is no “racial” majority.
    Interestingly, we have a Hawaiian President. I suspect that “mixed race” or “bi-racial” is going to eventually become a big thing in the USA as a whole, the way it is in Hawaii.

    Among adults 18 and older, those saying they are of two or more races rose 31% from 2000 to 2010. They make up 18.5% of the state’s adult population.

    Among all ages, the increase of those citing two or more races was 23.6%. Overall, almost one in four Hawaii residents are of mixed race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

  27. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Yeah, I get that this matters to people like superdestroyer and Pat Buchanan (which as an Irish guy is totally hilarious in its abject hypocracy) and Storm Front in that I understand that they exist, and hold those opinions. But I don’t actually understand (despite their attempts to explain it) *why* they care.

    I’m about as white as it is possible to be – I can trace my ancestry back to 1640s Boston on one side and the English colonial period in Florida in the 1700s on the other, and I grew up in predominantly white Boston suburbs. But I just have never understood why it matters so much to people like SD.

    And that was before I lived in mixed-race neighborhoods in Boston and Springfield, MA, and spent a lot of time in Florida. Which was before I lived in (and fell in love with) San Antonio, which is my favorite place I have ever lived, and which is only about 1/4 Anglo.

    Every time I read someone going on a rant about anything related to Hispanics or securing the border, etc., I have to wonder what their background is, and how sheltered they have to be. If their arguments weren’t so ugly, I’d be tempted to feel bad for them. TNC’s point that James cited in the other thread about how exposure to diverse cultures changes how you think is true in my experience – and we’re truly lucky in the US that we can, if we so chose, live among people from all walks of life. I wouldn’t trade my Tejanos for anything. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

  28. [...] Whites Will Soon Be A Minority Of The U.S. Population [...]

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  29. DC Loser says:

    Ever hear of the “One Drop Rule”?

    Reminds me of that great All in the Family episode when Archie found out he received Sammy Davis Jr’s blood in a transfusion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  30. murray says:

    @nitpicker: Again no. With less than 50% of the overall population whites will be a minority of the overall population.

    The fact that this minority is larger than the others doesn’t justify a new appellation.

    I

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  31. murray says:

    @nitpicker: In short, you should get used to a USA without any ethnic majority but only minorities.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  32. stonetools says:

    Wonder if SD and those who think like him understand that genetically, we are all African emigrants.

    I welcome SD as a fellow African emigrant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  33. the Q says:

    As Tiger Woods was claiming himself as CABLASIAN (caucasian black asian), and said he is majority Thai, Charles Barklay opined that “Thai golfers don’t get hate mail, black ones do.”

    Also channelling All in the Family episode;

    Archie: You being colored, I know you had no choice in that. But what ever made you turn Jew?

    Sammy Davis Jr.: If you were prejudiced, Archie, when I came into your home, you would have called me a coon or a nigger. But you didn’t say that, I heard you clear as a bell, you came right out and said it: colored. And if you were prejudiced, you’d go around thinking that you were better than everybody. But after spending these wonderful moments with you, Archie, I can tell ya – you ain’t better than nobody.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  34. george says:

    @Brett:

    We’ll probably just see “white” re-defined to incorporate a larger chunk of the population, particularly a wide range of hispanics (hence the whole “hispanic white” option that has come up on surveys in recent years).

    Didn’t that happen in the past with the Irish, Italians and Jews? They went from being classified as non-white to white. I think it sometimes refers as much as being predominantly middle class as anything else (I’ve heard both whites and black refer to the Bill Cosby show’s characters as “white”).

    Or maybe it’ll finally, as you suggest, get to the point where race doesn’t matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  35. ernieyeball says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You and the Prime Minister Count Rupert of Mountjoy…

    (See The Mouse That Roared)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053084/

    Thank you Peter Sellers. RIP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  36. anjin-san says:

    Has Superdestroyer gone missing?

    Negros beat him up and took his lunch money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  37. Matt Bernius says:

    @george:

    Didn’t that happen in the past with the Irish, Italians and Jews? They went from being classified as non-white to white.

    This. You both beat me to this point. White is as much a flexible designation as all the rest.

    Of course, this also get’s to the point that the real power of “Whiteness” is to decide who is and who isn’t white.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  38. [...] Whites Will Soon Be A Minority Of The U.S. Population (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  39. michael reynolds says:

    @rachel:

    I miss Hicks, Kinison and Carlin. I can’t think of three politicians I miss nearly as much. Especially Carlin who is just irreplaceable.

    Louis C.K. had better stay healthy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. michael reynolds says:

    I can never figure out if I’m majority or minority. I’m arguably Jewish. Surely white people don’t see us as actually white. But I’m pretty sure black people and Latinos don’t claim us, either.

    I guess I’ll just wander. . .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: This might shed some light. It’s mainly a convenience thing. For those of us who are well off or cosmopolitan enough not to view these developments as “insecurity” things are much easier.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. Kylopod says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In the ’90s I used to read columns by a black conservative named Gregory Kane who wrote for my hometown newspaper, the Baltimore Sun. While the Sun was a liberal paper, Kane was a certifiable wingnut who on occasion could be surprisingly insightful. Around the time Tiger Woods was going around telling the media he was not black but “Cablinasian,” Kane wrote a column in which he said Woods should be given “the cab test”: “Stand him on a street corner in any large American city and have him hail a cab. If he gets one, he’s Cablinasian. If he doesn’t, he’s definitely black.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Davebo says:

    @Ben:

    Except that Obama self-identifies as black, so it’s not quite as racist a position as you’re making it out to be.

    You certainly aren’t the first to peer into Obama’s soul and determine how he “self identifies” but I’m curious. What exactly brought you to this conclusion exactly?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  44. JohnMcC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I had a moment of trepidation just as I hit the “Post Comment” tab. But since I am a Tennessee (proud Vol) boy, ‘hillbilly’ doesn’t connote a particular place to me — I take it with me wherever I go, sort of like the lady on the way to Banbury Cross took her music before transisters. And by the way, if you should be a Missou fan, welcome to the world of real football!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. steve s says:

    I live in the rural south. I’m 36. Growing up, interracial couples were unheard of and would not have been welcome. I left for college, came back 10 years later, and within a week a relative was complaining about all the mixed kids nowadays. And just in the last year here I’ve seen dozens and dozens of interracial kids. I expect mixed to be the norm for new babies in a few short decades. And that’ll be great.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

  46. JohnMcC says:

    @Matt Bernius: I think the definitive book concerning the ‘promotion’ of the Irish (and Italians, Poles, etc) to ‘White’ is How The Irish Became White (by a braugh boyo name Ignatiev). Essentially, when they (actually – ‘we’) moved out of the slums and the blacks moved in, the Irish became ‘white’.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  47. superdestroyer says:

    A few points:

    1. I am not surprised with the demographic changes in the least. White birthrates have been trending down for a log time and the economic downturn has accelerated the process. This trends will go even lower in the future as the price of not living close to poor people will continue to go up, as the number of good career fields continues to decrease, and as credential-ism continue to push people into a very long adolescence. White cannot afford to have children because the choice is either having children and being poor who trying to have a career.

    2. The idea that the younger generations will not pay attention to race or ethnicity is laughable. Look at race and ethnicity has become more important, not less. Look at ethnic studies programs, ethnicity advocacy groups. And to claim that the younger generation does not cares ignores the fact that Abigail Fisher took a her lawsuit to the Supreme Court to keep the state from discriminating against her. Yet, everyone one the left keeps promoting the idea that the government should be able to discriminate.

    3. If you want to know what ethnicity matters, why does anyone think that white 20 somethings want to live in Williamsburg, Portland, or Burlington, VT. The last place the upper class white kids want to live in El Paso or Santa Ana California.

    4. The real question for all the liberals who seem guidy with the demographic change: why are you excited about the U.S. becoming a third world country with the culture of South or Central America with a small set of patrons and a massive number of peons.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Surprisingly (!) you’re wrong.

    The idea that the younger generations will not pay attention to race or ethnicity is laughable. Look at race and ethnicity has become more important, not less.

    Living as I do in the real world and not inside your racist fever dreams, I can tell you that kids today do not see race as much.

    My daughter was trying to tell us which camp counsellor she was referring to one day. She offered various descriptors but we still weren’t clear. So we asked her, “You mean the black guy?”

    Long, puzzled pause. Then she acknowledged that he was in fact black. She wasn’t being PC — she just didn’t think of it as a descriptor. The idea sort of baffled her.

    And do you know how many people make any kind of issue — in fact, so much as blink or take a long look — at the fact that three of us in our family are white and one is Asian? None. The only people who even seem to notice are newly-arrived Asians, as opposed to Asian-Americans.

    The only people still obsessing over race are racist goons like you. You are a sick man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  49. MarkedMan says:

    One of Robert Heinlein’s novels had an incidental character, a politician who claimed he was a 16th black. Other’s were skeptical, feeling that he only made that claim because he was running for office. We are almost there…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  50. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR,

    I guess since Abigal Fisher does not fit into your world view, she does not exist. That whites have been moving out of California for years does not fit into your world view. That public schools are as segregated today as they were in the 1960’s does not fit into your world view.

    A middle class/upper middle class white kid in high school has to think about being in the minority when comtemplating where to attend college, what career to pursue and on planning where they are going to live.

    As the birthrate data has shown, middle class and upper middle class whites are giving up getting married and having children because it will lower their standard of living and increase the proablility that they will be unable to escape the minority underclass.

    The real question is why go progressives believe that whites who are not in the patron class are losers who need to cease to exist?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  51. Pylon says:

    @Davebo: @Davebo: He has said so publicly, in interviews.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  52. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @superdestroyer: Oh, yes, those Third World minority-majority urban hellscapes like Miami, San Antonio, Honolulu, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, and San Diego.

    Please tell me more about how awful they are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  53. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    If you want to know what ethnicity matters, why does anyone think that white 20 somethings want to live in Williamsburg, Portland, or Burlington, VT. The last place the upper class white kids want to live in El Paso or Santa Ana California.

    You’re killing me. In what world do young people make a choice (based on race demographics) between living Burlington VT or Santa Ana CA?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    What else could it possibly be? Has to be race. Because otherwise Santa Ana and Burlington are pretty much identical.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4