The Main Stream

May 17, 2012 1:40 AM

Census: Minorities now surpass whites in US births

WASHINGTON, DC - For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing.

New 2011 census estimates highlight sweeping changes in the nation's racial makeup and the prolonged impact of a weak economy.

As a whole, the U.S. minority population continues to rise, following a higher-than-expected Hispanic count in the 2010 census.

But the annual rates of growth for Hispanics and Asians fell sharply last year to about 2 percent, roughly half the rates in 2000 and the lowest in more than a decade. Black growth rates stayed flat at 1 percent.

Pointing to a longer-term decline in immigration, demographers say the peak of the Hispanic population boom may have passed.

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