(Washington) The number of people calling themselves “white” has fallen for the first time in the United States, according to the latest 2020 census, which shows a country is “much more multiracial” and urban than a decade earlier, officials said Thursday .
Posted on Aug 12, 2021 at 5:05 pm
“The white population remains the largest racial or ethnic group in the United States,” said the US Census Bureau.
The population that defines itself as “white” only declined by 8.6% between 2010 and 2020, a novelty since the first surveys in 1790.
It represented 204 million residents, or 61.6% of the population last year, up from 72.4% a decade earlier.
“These changes show that the American population is much more mixed,” one of its officials, Nicholas Jones, said during a presentation.
In addition to demographic changes, however, he warned that the refinement of the questions on these topics and a new methodology compared to 2010 would have “largely” influenced these results.
The category “whites in connection with another group”, for example African American or Asians, has exploded with + 316% in ten years to 235 million people.
In the United States it is very common to define oneself by ethnicity, and the census asks respondents specifically what “race” they belong to.
African Americans now make up 12.4% of the population (41 million), a stable percentage over ten years, while the Asian population has grown 35.5% to about 20 million (6%). The Aborigines make up 1.1% of the population.
The Hispanic population rose 23% to 62 million (18% of the population).
The data also shows that population growth has been concentrated “almost entirely in metropolitan areas,” said another official, Mark Perry.
The ten-year census is essential to determining the electoral division of the 50 American states and the tens of billions of dollars of federal funding allocated specifically to schools and hospitals.
Their effect in politics can be decisive, in particular because they make it possible to decide how many seats in the House of Representatives are allocated to each state.
It must count the entire population living in the area, including the homeless, residents of retirement homes and undocumented immigrants.
This gigantic operation was doubly impacted in 2020 by the pandemic and controversial management of former President Donald Trump.