New U.S. Census estimates show that minorities increased by more than 2 percent, while the white population remained flat.
Minorities were increased by a surge in Hispanic births and more people who described themselves as multiracial, the Associated Press reported.
The nation’s minority population now makes up 35 percent of the country.
“The aging of baby boomers beyond young middle age will have profound impacts on our labor force, housing market, schools and generational divisions on issues such as Social Security and Medicare,” William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, told the AP. “The engine of growth for the younger population in most states will be new minorities.”
In examining potential effects of the minority spike, some groups say the news means minorities have to be better educated.
“If we just do a snapshot of minority performance today and project that 20 years out, we’re going to have a poorly skilled workforce,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, in a Bloomberg Businessweek article.
Richard Kahlenberg, a fellow at the Century Foundation in Washington, noted “that while educational performance of blacks and Hispanics have improved in recent decades, they continue to score about four grade levels below whites in the 12th grade.”
Experts say the U.S. could be moving to a “minority majority” by mid-century.