Atlantic Cities

U.S. Metros Are Ground Zero for Majority-Minority Populations

U.S. Metros Are Ground Zero for Majority-Minority Populations
Reuters

New population estimates were recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau showing that, for the first time, the majority of Americans under the age of 1 are minorities. Or more specifically that white, non-Hispanic babies now make up less than half of the population younger than 1.

It's part of a demographic shift that's expected to create a minority-majority nationwide population sometime within the next 40 or 50 years. California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas have already passed that threshold at the state level.

So what about cities?

Well, metro-level data isn't yet publicly available. But with the data there is, we've put together something of a proxy to show just how much of the very young U.S. population is made up of what we may eventually no longer know as minorities.

The most recent data available through the Census Bureau's Population Estimates section are at the county level, with granular figures down to the level of ages 4 and under. Counties are the basis for the Bureau's tabulation of metropolitan-scale populations, so this set of figures can stand in to represent metro-level numbers. To simplify things, single counties were used to determine metro-level rates of minorities in this age bracket. Representative counties for each metro were determined by highest county-level population in this list [PDF] of MSAs.

The list below shows the highest rates of minority populations among the 4 and under age group for the 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. It should be re-emphasized that these are approximations of metro-level data based on single data from single counties, and are only intended to serve as a proxy for trying to understand how this nationwide shift to minority-majority young children plays out on a metro/city level.

Population Rank Metropolitan Statistical Area Representative County Minority Population Under Age 5
2 Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA Los Angeles 83.47%
8 Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach, FL Miami-Dade 82.60%
4 Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX Dallas 80.97%
24 San Antonio–New Braunfels, TX Bexar 80.00%
31 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Santa Clara 78.74%
5 Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX Harris 78.71%
11 San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA Alameda 78.05%
12 Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA Riverside 76.36%
6 Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD Philadelphia, PA 73.38%
41 Memphis, TN-MS-AR Shelby, TN 71.76%
9 Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA Fulton 69.46%
3 Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL–IN–WI Cook, IL 68.72%
30 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV Clark 67.89%
17 San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA San Diego 67.04%
25 Sacramento–Arden–Arcade–Roseville, CA Sacramento 66.39%
34 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX Travis 66.07%
26 Orlando–Kissimmee–Sanford, FL Orange 64.96%
7 Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV Montgomery, MD 64.66%
1 New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–PA Kings, NY 64.08%
39 Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Milwaukee 63.70%
21 Denver–Aurora–Broomfield, CO Denver 62.95%
18 Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL Hillsborough 60.85%
33 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC Mecklenburg, NC 60.71%
14 Phoenix–Mesa–Glendale, AZ Maricopa 60.17%
13 Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI Wayne 59.54%
50 Birmingham-Hoover, AL Jefferson 59.16%
46 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA Jefferson 58.57%
43 Oklahoma City, OK Oklahoma 57.88%
37 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN Davidson 56.22%
40 Jacksonville, FL Duval 55.37%
35 Indianapolis-Carmel, IN Marion 54.08%
45 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT Hartford 52.20%
38 Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA Providence, RI 52.19%
20 Baltimore–Towson, MD Baltimore 52.05%
28 Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH Cuyahoga 51.77%
15 Seattle–Tacoma–Bellevue, WA King 50.90%
29 Kansas City, MO-KS Jackson, MO 49.68%
47 Raleigh-Cary, NC Wake 49.32%
16 Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI Hennepin, MN 47.62%
32 Columbus, OH Franklin 46.06%
27 Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN Hamilton, OH 45.56%
44 Richmond, VA Chesterfield 44.14%
19 St. Louis, MO–IL St. Louis, MO 43.16%
23 Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA Multnomah, OR 42.90%
42 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN Jefferson, KY 42.39%
49 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY Erie 36.64%
48 Salt Lake City, UT Salt Lake 36.14%
36 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC York, VA 36.01%
10 Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH Middlesex, MA 34.62%
22 Pittsburgh, PA Allegheny 31.54%

 

As you can see, most of the largest metropolitan areas have already passed the minority-majority population threshold for their young populations. Indeed, 36 of the top 50 metros are in this group. Only one of the top 10, Boston, is below that threshold, with just about 34 percent of its under 5 population representing at least one minority.

Note how many metros are far beyond the 50 percent mark. Eight metros are above 75 percent.

As these demographics continue to shift, it's likely that urban areas will be fueling much of America's future minority-majority.

Photo credit: Reuters

Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for The Atlantic Cities. He lives in Los Angeles. All posts »

Join the Discussion