Latinos a part of "majority" sooner

White people of European descent will no longer make up a majority of the U.S. population by the year 2042 -- eight y...

White people of European descent will no longer make up a majority of the U.S. population by the year 2042 -- eight years sooner than previous estimates.

The big change is among Hispanics and Asians whose share of the population is set to double to 30% and 9%.

The population is also aging: by 2050 one in five residents will be aged 65 or over, up from one in nine today.

The U.S. Census Bureau's latest projections are based on birth, death and current immigration rates.

The projections show that the US population is expected to rise from 305 million people to 439 million by 2050, but it will be a population that looks quite different both in age, race and ethnicity.

According to the census bureau's statistics, people who regard themselves as Hispanic, African-American, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will become the majority by 2042.

Officials had previously projected that this change would happen in 2050.

The new projections suggest that by 2050, minorities will account for 54% of the population and non-Hispanic whites 46%, down from their current 64.7% share.

Immigration and higher birth rates among US minorities, especially Hispanics, are accelerating the demographic changes.

Hispanics will see their population nearly triple from 47 million to 133 million, causing their share of the population to increase from 15% to 30%.

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