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The Changing Demographics of the US in the 21st Century
Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and other minorities will form the majority of the US population by 2050 as society becomes more ethnically and racially diverse, US Census Bureau data show. Interracial marriages will become more common. Half of the respondents in a survey by Pew Research said this was a positive trend for the country.
The survey also asked about other marriage trends and divorce trends. 53% of Americans said people would be less likely to get married in three decades than they are now. 39% predict the number of newlyweds will not change. 60% predict the divorce rate will remain unchanged, but 29% say the number of divorces will increase.
A majority nonwhite population
When asked about the impact of a majority nonwhite population, 42% of respondents said this wouldn’t be a good or a bad thing. 18% considered this a positive development. Different groups responded slightly differently. 46% of white respondents expressed a neutral stance on the subject of a majority nonwhite population, while 53% of blacks and 55% of Hispanics were positive on it.
The growing Hispanic population is leading to the corresponding growth of the popularity of some Hispanic names. For example, the Velasquez last name was the 789th most common in 2000, but by 2010, it had gone up to 530th.
Different age groups also view changing demographics differently. Young adults were more likely to believe this development would benefit the country. Younger groups are typically more ethnically and racially diverse than older groups.
Most adults under 30 consider the increase in interracial marriages a positive trend. 51% of people between 30 and 49 agree. For people aged 50-64, the percentage is 45%.
There are also some variations by educational background. Almost 66% of respondents with a postgraduate degree saw this development positively compared to 40% of people with a high school diploma or below.
The frequency of marriage
In recent years, the number of married adults has been stable, albeit with a longer-term downward tendency. However, this is largely expected to change. 53% of respondents predicted people would be less likely to get married in three decades.
Generally, predictions of the future of marriage are consistent across demographic groups. However, it’s interesting to note that 57% of currently married people predict a decline in marriages compared to 48% of unmarried people. Ethnicity and race show some differences here. 56% of white people and 53% of people of Hispanic origin forecast marriage will be less common in three decades, but only 34% of African Americans agree.
The frequency of divorce
The majority of respondents (58%) said divorce rates would remain the same in the next 30 years. 29% stated divorce rates would increase, and 12% thought divorce would become less common.
Falling reproduction rates
There are diverse views on families in 2050. Just under half of all respondents said people would have fewer children in 2050 than they do now or no children at all. 43% predicted reproduction rates would not change. Only 10% believe Americans will have more children in the future.
Predictably, young adults were more likely to say this was the case than older adults. Almost 20% of people under 30 said people would be more likely to procreate in 2050. In comparison, just 5% of those 65 and older, 8% of adults 50 to 64, and 9% of adults 30 to 49 agreed.
The population is aging
The fact that the US population is aging is not perceived positively. According to the US Census Bureau, people over 65 will outnumber those under 18 by 2050. 56% of respondents believe this will affect the country adversely.
67% of respondents with a university degree said this trend was negative compared to 48% of high school graduates. Gender also plays a role, with men being much more likely to see the tendency negatively (64% vs. 49%). Just 13% of men say this trend will have a positive effect compared to 20% of women.