A State-by-State Look at Growing Minority Populations

Minorities account for the majority of the population in only four states, but that's set to soon change. View updated data for each state.
by | June 25, 2015

Several demographic shifts underway for years now have led the nation to become increasingly diverse, with the most recent Census Bureau projections suggesting the country will become majority-minority by 2044.

For many individual states, the tipping point is slated to occur much sooner. Updated data released by the Census Bureau Thursday depict population changes for various demographic groups in states and counties.

California, Hawaii, New Mexico and Texas are the only states where minorities, or those not identifying themselves as non-Hispanic whites, already make up the majority of the population. The latest estimates suggest the next states in line to surpass this threshold are Nevada (48.5 percent minority), Maryland (47.4 percent minority) and Georgia (45.7 percent minority).

Since 2010, the minority share of the population has increased in every state with the exception of Hawaii, along with the District of Columbia, which has seen its white population grow faster than blacks. Nowhere is the shift more evident than Nevada, where the minority share of the population has increased faster than any other state (+2.7 percentage points) and all major minority groups have expanded.

This map shows how the minority share of the population is increasing, with states experiencing the fastest shifts shaded dark green. (Figures shown may not add up due to rounding.)

 

It’s hard to say precisely when each state will become majority-minority given all the variables subject to change. One report that did attempt to project state minority populations was published earlier this year by the Center for American Progress, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution. After Nevada and Maryland, researchers determined that Arizona, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey would pass the milestone in the 2020s. By 2060, the study reported minorities will account for the majority of residents in 22 states that make up two-thirds of the total population.

Minorities already account for the majority of babies, attributable in part to growth among Hispanics, who have high birth rates. The white population is projected to grow at a fairly slow rate for another decade or so, when it will start to decline.

State Population Data

The following table shows the share of the total population for non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, African Americans and Asians in each state. Estimates are current as of July 1, 2014.

SOURCE: Governing calculations of Annual Estimates of the Resident Population, U.S. Census Bureau