A new census data brief by Applied Population Lab and published in the New York Times yesterday is being chattered about all over the interwebs and is sure to make your garden variety white supremacists break into a sweat and start immediately canvassing for new recruits.
That’s because the data shows Fewer Births Than Deaths Among Whites in a Majority of U.S. States. In fact, caucasian deaths outnumbered births in 26 US states in 2016, up from 17 just two years earlier.
— Pew Research Fact Tank (@FactTank) June 20, 2018
And while there are no doubt many contributing factors to this sensational little factoid, those are hardly being discussed at all, with most conversation mainly focusing on how freaked out the demographer who found this out was (“he thought it was a mistake,” according to The New York Times) and how this all could be signaling “a faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the American population.”
Cue the Alt-Right looking like an Edvard Munch painting right about now, “Oh NO!!!”
In the 26 blue states below, more white residents died than were born in 2016. That suggests a “faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the American population.” https://t.co/5HYRsTO8zq pic.twitter.com/K3ROMEXwAQ
— John Gramlich (@johngramlich) June 20, 2018
Wtf…is this a media attempt to hype up the right?
— Emma Jane (@EmmaJan09588702) June 21, 2018
Reminds me of something https://t.co/Kh7nXhnxNO
— Conrad Hackett (@conradhackett) June 20, 2018
But before they all cuddle up to their half-baked conspiracy theories of white genocide and race wars to keep them warm at night, we could all focus on what the data is actually showing— that white population is in a downward trend. But why?
The demographers point to “a widespread natural decrease” of the larger Baby Boomer Generation as they all move to the end of their lives, a large portion of whom is predominantly white. At the same time, their younger white counterparts are delaying childbirth, having less children altogether by choice, and choosing to partner in more diverse ways. In other words, white population decrease is by natural life cycle (death) and choices.
According to the New York Times:
The pattern first started nearly two decades ago in a handful of states with aging white populations like Pennsylvania and West Virginia. But fertility rates dropped drastically after the Great Recession and mortality rates for whites who are not of Hispanic origin have been rising, driven partly by drug overdoses. That has put demographic change on a faster track.
Twitter users all have their own theories:
Well whites tend to make up the bracket of people who choose not to get married (or get divorced more often), choose to have 1 or no kids, etc, right? Of course the birth rate would be dropping.
— JKE (@karentembiwa) June 21, 2018
That, and the tendency to call people who are mixed with white whatever the other parents race is. Most people mixed with white are more likely to be considered black, or Asian, or Latino to everyone looking. Part of why racial distinctions are flawed.
— Raven (@theravenmonroe) June 21, 2018
Whites without a bachelor’s degree will make up 44 percent of eligible voters in 2020. That is giving politicians incentives to emphasize issues, like immigration and race, where there are the biggest differences in views by education. https://t.co/LBDRZX5P2g
— stefania sechi (@stefania_se) June 21, 2018
People are becoming more concerned about having *things* rather than children.
— Seriouslee (@Karhods54) June 21, 2018
As the report’s authors note, “America is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.”
Perhaps, Twitter user Techny-Gal has the right outlook when it comes how would should all really be taking this data in.
Here’s another bit of news… America is aging. People are growing old & hopefully their ideology will grow old and die with them. America the melting pot
— Techny-Gal Marshall (@TechnyGal) June 21, 2018