TIP SHEET: University of Virginia Expert Can Comment on Census Bureau Report that Projects Minorities May Be the U.S. Majority in a Generation

August 15, 2008

Aug. 15, 2008 — The Census Bureau's latest national report on population, released yesterday, calculates that by 2042, Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites.

University of Virginia faculty member Qian Cai, director of the demographics and workforce section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, can offer expertise to reporters wanting to put this report into context in regard to the commonwealth of Virginia.

Cai explained that the Census Bureau's newest report on population projections by age, gender, race and Hispanic origin was "only made at the national level. No state-level data were available." Following are a few points she said are relevant to Virginia:

1. As of 2007, Virginia's minority, that is, anybody who is not a non-Hispanic white, accounts for one-third of the total population. African-Americans are the largest minority group, followed by Hispanics and Asians. At the national level, however, Hispanics are the largest minority group.

2. While the nation may become "majority minority" by 2042, the same may not hold true for Virginia, as the proportion of Hispanics in Virginia (6 percent) is much lower than that at the national level (15 percent).

3. Minorities' share in Virginia's population will undoubtedly increase, following the national trends of becoming more diverse. Interracial marriages and births occurring among younger populations, who already tend to be more diverse; deaths occurring among older populations, more of whom tend to be white; and continuing immigration and migration, largely due to the state's employment opportunities, will all contribute to the growth and the growing share of minority population.

For information, contact Qian Cai (pronounced Chien Tsai) at 434-982-5581 or by e-mail at qian.cai@virginia.edu. Note: She will be unavailable the week of Aug. 18. She will be back in the office on Aug. 25.