America’s Changing Demographics

The latest Census data show a changing America.


The latest Census data show a changing America.

National Journal headlines their report “Millennials Now Outnumber Boomers in the U.S.“ and leads with that:

Millennials now make up a larger part of the population than boomers, according to the latest Census Bureau data.

People who were born between 1982 and 2000, classified as millennials, now make up more than one quarter of the population, at 83.1 million. This is compared with the 75.4 million baby boomers, generally defined as being born between 1946 and 1964.

That’s an interesting factoid, given that the thing that initially defined the Baby Boom was the sheer size of the generation. While the earliest Boomers are now senior citizens who were subject to the Vietnam draft, one wouldn’t think we’d have lost a huge number of them. Still, unless the Millenials are somehow unique, I’m not sure why it matters:

Millennials are also more likely to be racially diverse, with 44.2 percent of them being part of a minority racial or ethnic group, which is reflective of the fact that the country now has a 37.9 percent minority population as of 2014.

That actually understates the demographic change. If Millennials are 6 percent more diverse than the population as  whole and are themselves more than a quarter of the population, the delta is actually quite huge. And growing:

And the diversity of young Americans overall is increasing, as more than half of Americans younger than age 5 are now part of a minority race or ethnic group.

There are also now four majority-minority states: Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Texas. Washington, D.C. is also majority-minority.

U.S. Hispanics totaled 55.4 million as of July, 1 2014. From April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014, there was an increase of 4,908,872 Hispanics in the U.S., with 3,656,700 coming from a natural increase after births and deaths were accounted for, and net international migration making up the rest.

Over the same period, the population of non-Hispanic whites grew by 544,270. After births and deaths were counted, there was a natural decrease of 97,441, so the net increase for non-Hispanic whites was caused by the net international migration of 641,711. The total non-Hispanic white population was 197.9 million in 2014.

To preempt Superdestroyer, this is going to force some changes on the political scene as well. In particular, no amount of gerrymandering is going to keep Texas overwhelmingly Republican if Hispanics keep growing as a percentage of the population and the party continues to alienate Hispanics; something is going to have to give.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. walt moffett says:

    Whether the GOP money men recognize the importance of local issues and rolling that pork barrel in Congressional races is yet to be seen.

    However, fwiw, traveling around East Alabama/West Georgia while college mascots lead as yard art , statues of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Ganesha are more common than rebel flags. So who knows what the future brings.

  2. Rob Prather says:

    I’m being Captain Obvious here, but it does seem that the push for new voting requirements is at least partially in response to these demographic changes.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    something is going to have to give.


    @Rob Prather: The harder they try, the more they alienate. The long term damage they are doing to their party brand will haunt the GOP for generations, I fear. That’s not good for anyone.

  4. superdestroyer says:

    The main push for political change is that most 20-something Republicans who want to have a career in politics will slowly change to being a moderate Democrat and moving to a place where white moderate Democrats can still get elected.

    I suspect that the tipping point for Texas will occur when middle class and blue collar whites start moving out of Texas much like middle class whites have been slowly moving out of California. Then Texas will slowly become a blue state and eventually get the state income tax that the Democrats have been excited about since Ann Richards was governor.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    To preempt Superdestroyer

    Didn’t work. But good try.

  6. James Pearce says:


    I suspect that the tipping point for Texas will occur when middle class and blue collar whites start moving out of Texas much like middle class whites have been slowly moving out of California.

    White people probably won’t flee such prosperous states unless there are other, more prosperous states to flee to. North Dakota won’t be sufficient refuge.

    Not that pointing this out would allay any of your fears. Your ideology depends on white supremacy, that much is clear, for without it everything crumbles.

  7. Cal American says:

    In 2002 the most popular birth name in California and Texas was Jose. It had been Michael for three decades. A demographic Tsunami is headed towards California and Texas and it will hit at the 2020 election. It is coming and it cannot be stopped.

  8. Slugger says:

    I am a baby-boomer and have just realized something extremely troubling about these predictions about demographic changes. To a large degree the predictions imply that we are getting old and will be dying soon! This is unacceptable. I demand an immediate Manhattan project on eternal youth to keep things the way they are.

  9. superdestroyer says:

    @James Pearce:

    The number of whites in California has been going down for about 2 decades. There are many reasons but one that most people do not like to write about is that California is not a place where other Americans aspire to move. It is a place for immigrants to move so that they can maintain their own culture and use their native culture habits and skills to exist in a very expensive place.

  10. superdestroyer says:


    I agree with James and still get grief for it. Something has to give in politics due to the demographic changes in the U.S. James seems to think that some kind of Democratic-lite conservative party can continue to exist in the U.S. to fill the role of being the opposition party to the dominant Democratic Party.

    I believe that it makes more sense that anyone seeking political power will not waste their time being in an irrelevant opposition party. Anyone who wants to have a career in the future as a politician who can affect policy and governance will be a Democrat in the future will find a way to reconcile their personal life choices withe their political views.

  11. James Pearce says:


    The number of whites in California has been going down for about 2 decades.

    Next you should explain why I should care.

    I’m concerned with the fate of people generally, not just white people.

  12. superdestroyer says:

    @James Pearce:

    You should ask all of the progressives who talk about critical masses and the need for diversity what happens when there are no more middle class whites in a community.