WASHINGTON — The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. The projections of population by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, covering the 2012-2060 period, are the first set based on the 2010 Census.
“The next half century marks key points in continuing trends — the U.S. will become a plurality nation, where the non-Hispanic white population remains the largest single group, but no group is in the majority,” says Acting Director Thomas L. Mesenbourg.
Furthermore, the population is projected to grow much more slowly over the next several decades, compared with the last projections released in 2008 and 2009.
The population age 65 and older is expected to more than double by 2060, from 43.1 million to 92.0 million, and will represent just over one in five U.S. residents by the end of the period.
Baby boomers, defined as persons born between 1946 and 1964, number 76.4 million in 2012 and account for about one-quarter of the population. In 2060, when the youngest of them would be 96 years old, they are projected to number around 2.4 million and represent 0.6% of the total population.
The non-Hispanic white population is projected to peak in 2024, at 199.6 million, up from 197.8 million in 2012. Unlike other race or ethnic groups, however, its population is projected to slowly decrease, falling by nearly 20.6 million from 2024 to 2060.
Meanwhile, the Hispanic population would more than double, from 53.3 million in 2012 to 128.8 million in 2060. The black population is expected to increase from 41.2 million to 61.8 million over the same period. The Asian population is projected to more than double, from 15.9 million in 2012 to 34.4 million in 2060.
Among the remaining race groups, American Indians and Alaska Natives would increase by more than half from now to 2060, from 3.9 million to 6.3 million. The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population is expected to nearly double, from 706,000 to 1.4 million. The number of people who identify themselves as being of two or more races is projected to more than triple, from 7.5 million to 26.7 million over the same period.
All in all, minorities, now 37% of the U.S. population, are projected to comprise 57% of the population in 2060. (Minorities consist of all but the single-race, non-Hispanic white population.) The total minority population would more than double, from 116.2 million to 241.3 million over the period.
Projections show the older population would continue to be predominately non-Hispanic white, while younger ages are increasingly minority. Of those age 65 and older in 2060, 56.0% are expected to be non-Hispanic white, 21.2% Hispanic and 12.5% non-Hispanic black. In contrast, while 52.7% of those younger than 18 were non-Hispanic white in 2012, that number would drop to 32.9% by 2060. Hispanics are projected to make up 38.0% of this group in 2060, up from 23.9% in 2012.
To review the data yourself, visit the U.S. Census website.