Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The Decreasing White Majority in the US

  1. May 11, 2004 #1
    US Population by Race:

    White 82.9%
    Hispanic 5.2%
    Black 11.1%
    Asian 0.7%

    White 79.8%
    Hispanic 6.4%
    Black 11.7%
    Asian 1.5%

    White 75.2%
    Hispanic 9%
    Black 12.1%
    Asian 2.9%

    White 69.1%
    Hispanic 12.5%
    Black 12.3%
    Asian 3.6%

    2050 Projection:
    White 53%
    Hispanic 22%
    Black 15%
    Asian 9%

    Source: US Census Bureau

    For more detailed information and many nifty graphs, go here:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Do you have similar statistics at your fingertips for eye color, hair color, blood type?
  4. May 11, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    race? ethnic group??

    Here's a quote from a a site previously used by BlackVision: "note: a separate listing for Hispanic is not included because the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic to mean a person of Latin American descent (including persons of Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican origin) living in the US who may be of any race or ethnic group (white, black, Asian, etc.)".

    But BlackVision's post starts "US Population by Race:" and says "Source: US Census Bureau".

    Is there an inconsistency here?

    Also, IIRC, there is a wealth of data (from the US Census Bureau?) on 'inter-racial marriages' (they're probably, in fact, marriages between people who are from different ethnic backgrounds) - both the number and proportion (expressed as a percentage of marriages between partners of the same ethnic background) are increasing, in some cases rapidly. Assuming that such marriages are no less 'fertile' than others, this suggests that many within the US have a rich ancestry. How does this diverse ethnic heritage of many individuals show up in the stats?
  5. May 11, 2004 #4
    Hispanic isn't a race. I knew that. And hopefully you knew it as well. People defined as Hispanic are usually a mixture of 3 primary races. Caucasian, Native American, and Black. Depending on region.

    But to be more specific. Hispanic is a mix of Caucasian and Native American in these countries: Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, and Chile

    And a mix of Caucausian and African in these countries: Cuba and Dominican Republic

    Some hispanic countries are more purebreed Caucasian such as Argentina.

    What's ironic is that people think interracial breeding will eliminate racial division. What it ends up doing is creating a new "racial" group like Hispanic, and cause even more division.

    Also I never ever brought up Hispanics into the other discussion. So don't know what "inconsistency" you are talking about.
  6. May 11, 2004 #5
    There is a "2 race or more/mixed race" box in the Census Bureau form. Only 2.4% of Americans marked that box.
  7. May 11, 2004 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Given what the Census Bureau says about the group it calls 'Hispanic', isn't it inconsistent to put it in the same group as 'White', 'Black', and 'Asian'? I mean, presumably each person who answered 'Hispanic' in the 1980 census (for example; the 2000 census brings new inconsistencies) *also* ticked a box like 'white', 'black', 'Hawaiian', ... yet all your percentages add up to close to 100%.
  8. May 11, 2004 #7
    Hispanics if not giving the hispanic option, will pretty much all of them, mark the "white" box. This is why the box called "white non hispanic" has emerged. And the statistics I gave here for white is "white non hispanic"
  9. May 11, 2004 #8


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    As I see it, white's are still by far the single largest population.

    I think we all agree that Hispanic is an ethnic, not racial classification. Most Hispanic's would be classified as "white" for race since "caucasian" is no longer used. So that would definitely bump the overall "white" race to a huge majority. So, the statement that there is a decreasing white majority is really negligible. And who cares? I didn't realize that the US is supposed to be primarily white. I must have missed that part in the constitution.
  10. May 11, 2004 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    ... and such a choice was introduced only in the 2000 census, I believe.

    This makes the stats harder to understand ... based solely on the marriage rates, and assuming that children of 'mixed marriages' would select the box you refer to, there is considerable under-reporting of this category.

    That doesn't create inconsistencies as long as the data are interpreted as the CB says they should be ... (from a quote in an earlier post of BlackVision's, my emphasis): "The concept of race as used by the Census Bureau reflects self-identification by people according to the race or races with which they most closely identify. These categories are sociopolitical constructs and should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature. Furthermore, the race categories include both racial and national-origin groups." - self-selection, sociopolitical constructs, ...

    However, if the data is to be interpreted in terms of ancestry, or DNA, (etc), there would clearly need to be a lot of heavy analysis to remove both the obvious confounding factors and, no doubt, a whole host of not-so-obvious ones.
    Last edited: May 11, 2004
  11. May 11, 2004 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That is a rather important clarification, don't you think?

    How did you (or the CB) count those who ticked '2 or more races'?
  12. May 11, 2004 #11
    Hispanic is not a racial classification but an ethnic classification. You are correct.

    I never stated that the US should be primarily white. I never stated that it was good nor bad that the white population is decreasing. I was merely showing the future ethnic makeup of America.
    Last edited: May 11, 2004
  13. May 11, 2004 #12
    People who marked 2 races are more is grouped separately. For more information. Visit www.census.gov
  14. Jun 16, 2004 #13
    Just out of curiosity, what "races" do you think well be on the 2050 census, and do you think we, as a whole, we even care by then (will their be as much racism as their is know).

    Personal i think we should define people by ethinciy/culture, if we have the urge to define someone at all. I know pleanty of who are of a certain race, but have an different ethicincity.
  15. Jun 16, 2004 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Sorry dude. I was a census enumerator in the year 2000 and there was no such box. There was also no box to mark for two or more races. It was a contentious issue because we had to tell all of the hispanic people we encountered that they must select "white" as their race, but that they could select "hispanic of (insert national origin)" as the answer to the following question. Heck, half of our training probably consisted of going over how to handle this. Given the difficulty with these forms, I doubt that the statistics the Census Bureau has are really all that reliable. Another thing: We were also instructed to tell the people filling out the forms that they could select whatever they wanted as their race and ethnicity, that it was entirely a matter of their self-perception.

    What's your point anyway? Are you afraid of a nation in which whites do not have such a large majority?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  16. Jun 16, 2004 #15


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    blackvision, i am a little concerned with your fixiation on race...i agree that we all need equality, but race is only an issue when it is made an issue.
  17. Jun 16, 2004 #16


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm wondering the same thing. What was the point of posting those statistics? Is there a point BlackVision is trying to make? Is there a question he or she has about those statistics? Is he/she awaiting a tutorial on anthropology, or population dynamics, or the methods of how the US Census Bureau collects their statistics? Or should we be discussing what assumptions were used to project the population composition in 2050? I'm actually curious about the last of those. Though, I'm also content to keep myself healthy enough to still be alive in 2050 to see for myself what really happens. :biggrin:
  18. Jun 17, 2004 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If you're going to comment on the statistics you post, you should at least be somewhat knowledgeable about how they are collected. Read your own links. The 2000 Census did not include Hispanic as an option in the race question, it was a separate question entirely. 5.5% of the population checked off a newly created category called "some other race" in the race question, and the Census Bureau reports that the majority of those checking off "some other race" were Hispanic.

    Also stated by the Census Bureau:

    "The question on race for Census 2000 was different from the one for the 1990 census in several ways. Most significantly, respondents were given the option of selecting one or more race categories to indicate their racial identities. 3
    "Because of these changes, the Census 2000 data on race are not directly
    comparable with data from the 1990 census or earlier censuses.
    Caution must be used when interpreting changes in the racial composition of the U.S. population over time."

    I've added the boldface for emphasis.

    Source of the above quoted text (a pdf available on the census website):
    Issued March 2001
    Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin 2000
    Census 2000 Brief
    Elizabeth M. Grieco and
    Rachel C. Cassidy
  19. Jun 17, 2004 #18
    I am knowledgeable. Notice that the White percentage is a decent amount larger than "White Non Hispanic" And the fact that a category called "White Non Hispanic" even exists. There's your first clue that Hispanics would mark the White box if there is no Hispanic option.

    Even if most of the "some other race" are Hispanic, that doesn't change the fact that most Hispanics do mark "White"
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2004
  20. Jun 19, 2004 #19


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There was no such category as "White Non Hispanic" on the 2000 Census. The question on whether someone in the household was of hispanic origin was entirely independent from the question about race and was asked in two parts. First, to check off if any member of the household was hispanic, and second to obtain more detail on country of origin (i.e., Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican).
    47.9% of people identifying themselves as Hispanic or Latino also identified themselves as white only. Not even a majority, let alone "most."
  21. Jun 19, 2004 #20
    White persons, not of Hispanic/Latino origin, percent, 2000. 69.1%


    Why does the Census Bureau have this statistic? I don't see Asian persons not of Hispanic origin or Black persons not of Hispanic origin. Yup only White persons not of Hispanic origin. This is certainly an statistic that the Census Bureau wishes to gather.

    If the Hispanic origin is separate, why would the Census Bureau need a "White Non Hispanic" box? You're arguing a moot point here.

    What definition of most or majority are you using? The fact is there is more Hispanics marking "White" than any other box. Are you really going to refute that fact? If so please give the number of hispanics marking asian, black, etc.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2004
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: The Decreasing White Majority in the US
  1. White boards (Replies: 14)

  2. White arrow (Replies: 2)