Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. PF 1.3 Racial and Ethnic Composition of the Child Population of the United States

01/01/2000

The United States has become increasingly racially and ethnically diverse over the last several decades and is projected to become even more so in the future. As recently as 1980, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of all children in this country were non-Hispanic whites (see Table PF 1.3). This proportion diminished to 65 percent in 1999 and is expected to continue a steady downward trend so that, by the year 2020, non-Hispanic whites will constitute just over one-half (55 percent) of the U.S. child population.

Prior to 1997, non-Hispanic blacks were the largest minority population of children in the United States. In 1997 and 1998, however, Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks each constituted about 15 percent of the total child population, with more Hispanic than black children (10.7 versus 10.2 million) in 1998. These were followed by non-Hispanic Asian Americans at 4 percent and non-Hispanic Native Americans at 1 percent. By the year 2020, more than one in five American children are expected to be Hispanic, more than double the percentage in 1980. The Asian/Pacific Islander population is also expected to continue its growth, increasing from 4 percent in 1999 to 6 percent by the year 2020.

Table PF 1.3. Number (in millions) and percentage distribution of children under age 18 in the United States, by race and Hispanic origin:a Selected years, 1980-1999, and projected, 2000-2020

  Projected
Number (in millions) 1980 1990 1997 1998 1999 2000 2010 2020

White, non-Hispanic

47.1 44.2 45.6 45.5 45.6 45.4 42.7 42.4

Black, non-Hispanic

9.3 9.5 10.2 10.2 10.5 10.6 11.3 12.2

Hispanica

5.7 7.9 10.4 10.7 10.8 11.0 13.7 17.2

Asian/Pacific Islanderb

1.1 2.0 2.7 2.8 3.0 3.1 4.0 5.0

American Indian/Alaska Nativeb

0.5 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8
  Projected
Percentage of population 1980 1990 1997 1998 1999 2000 2010 2020

White, non-Hispanic

74 69 66 65 65 64 59 55

Black, non-Hispanic

15 15 15 15 15 15 16 16

Hispanica

9 12 15 15 15 16 19 22

Asian/Pacific Islanderb

2 3 4 4 4 4 6 6

American Indian/Alaska Nativeb

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

a Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

b Excludes persons who are of Hispanic origin.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-25, no. 1095, Table 1; and no. 1130, Table 2; also unpublished data, U.S. Bureau of the Census. Percentage estimates as published in America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2000. Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, Table POP3.


Figure PF 1.3. Percentage distribution of children under age 18 in the United States, by race and Hispanic origin:a 1980-1999, and projected, 2000-2020

Figure PF 1.3 Percentage distribution of children under age 18 in the United States, by race and Hispanic origin:a 1980-1999, and projected, 2000-2020

a Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Estimates for whites, blacks, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American Indian/Alaska Natives exclude persons of Hispanic origin.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-25, no. 1095, Table 1; and no. 1130, Table 2; also unpublished data, U.S. Bureau of the Census.

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