By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, jwright@afro.com

People of color will be the majority of the American population in 2045 and a leading political scientist says that African Americans should be ready to use its numbers to gain political power.

William H. Frey is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program. His latest report, “The U.S. Will Become Minority White in 2045, Census Projects”, released on March 14, says based on the census’s March 13 population projections, Whites won’t be the dominant racial group.

People of color will be 51.1 percent of the population by 2045, according to a new report. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The census projects in 2045, the White population will be 49.9 percent of the country and 24.6 percent will be Latino, 13.1 percent Black, 7.8 percent Asian and 3.8 percent multiracial.

The projected growth rates for Blacks up to 2045 is 13 percent while the growth rate for multiracial populations, Asians and Hispanics from 2018-2060 will be 175, 93 and 85 percent, respectively. Frey notes that during the 2016-2060 timespan, Whites will be declining in numbers and percentages with the exception of the 65 and older group.

Frey said according to census data, there will be more White seniors than children and more White deaths than births, starting this year. He also said among youth under the age of 18, people of color will outnumber Whites starting in 2020.

Frey said people of color will fuel the country’s growth in voters and consumers and provide the tax base for years to come. He also said that the rapidly growing largely White senior population will be dependent on these young people of color for contributions to the economy and government programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

Dr. John Bullock is a political scientist in Baltimore and is a member of the Baltimore City Council. Bullock told the AFRO that Black politicians and activists should actively look to building coalitions with other peoples of color.

“We need to think of ways to build alliances with Hispanics and Asians,” he said. “This growth in people of color is brought about by the Hispanics and we as Blacks need to make sure that we will have access to resources that our community needs as well as work with others.”

Bullock said the growth in people of color will affect political parties.

“The Democratic Party will have to seriously address the concerns of the Hispanic and Asian populations and Blacks can be a part of that shuffle also,” he said.

There are whispers among some politically active Blacks that as Hispanic and Asian numbers grow, the Hispanics in particular will be viewed by the White power structure as the “favored” minority and receive financial and material resources as opposed to Blacks. Bullock said that’s not the case.

“The Hispanic bloc has several groups such as Mexicans and Salvadorians and one of those groups may have more people than Blacks put together someday,” he said. “That is why it is important to have alliances so we can work with these groups to see that our interests are taken care of.”

Bullock said Blacks need to engage the political process in order to remain relevant in the coming decades.

“We need to have Black people in place that are ready to assume important political positions on the state and national level,” he said. “Barack Obama started on the state level before going national and we need people who can do things like that so we can have a deeper bench of elected officials. We need Blacks who can create public policy that can benefit us and we need to cultivate a younger, skillful group of African-American politicians.”