Minorities in Under-5 Age Group Nearing Majority

U.S. Census estimates show that among children, whites are expected to become the minority in the next two years.

Posted: 06/13/2013 03:10 PM EDT

A newly released U.S. Census report shows that for children under the age of 5, minorities make up almost half (49.9 percent) of the age group.

"The proportion of young children that is minority has been increasing since the 2010 Census and if this proportional growth continues, we expect that the crossover to majority-minority for this group will occur within the next couple of years," said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director.

The government also reports that in five years, more than half of America’s children under 18 will be made up of minorities.

The population of multiracial Americans, followed by Asians and Hispanics, are showing the largest percentage growth. Also, as of 2012, New York holds the largest Black population of any state (3.7 million) and Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located, has the largest Black population of any county (1.3 million). The U.S. overall minority population grew by 1.9 percent and represents 37 percent of the total U.S. population.

Such shifts in the country’s racial demographics may alter how Americans view race and class issues. For example, support for affirmative action has decreased, and some scholars say the policy should be restructured to focus on class instead. The Supreme Court is set to make a decision on affirmative action this month.

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(Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

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