White Deaths Now Higher Than Births In US

White deaths in the US now outnumber white births, the US Census Bureau announced Thursday.

This trend began in 2012, with more white American citizens dying than are being born. A natural decrease in the white population of 12,400 individuals, or 12.4 percent, is what the Census’ study estimates occurred over the last year.

Demographers say this is an important announcement because this is the first time this has happened in the United States.

Even times when white people, the dominant racial group in the US, had a decline in births and a spike in deaths, as during major wars or the Great Depression, such a reversal has not happened.

White, non-Hispanic Americans, however, continue to be the single largest racial group in the United States, making up 63 percent of the total population.

White immigrants mostly from Canada and Germany, numbering 188,000 in 2012, more than offset the white natural population decline.

Previous Census estimates say that drops in the white population in the US would become regular by 2025.

Why were there more white deaths than white births last year? There are a few likely explanations that might not seem obvious at first.

Census data shows that non-Hispanic white Americans are, on average, older than people from other groups.

Another factor is the tendency for women who seek higher education and get degrees are more inclined to delay marrying and having children and in general have fewer children total.

White individuals in the US are known to have comparatively higher college attendance rates than other racial groups; among the reasons for this is the trend of higher average income rates for white Americans.

The fact that multiracial births, a category not included in US Census Bureau analyses, are increasing every year also likely accounts for these numbers.

As the rate of non-Hispanic white deaths in the US begin to exceed white births, the inevitable population decline of the nation’s dominate racial group begins and will likely play a defining role in this century.

[Image via ShutterStock]