The Census Bureau has issued its most detailed portrait yet of how the U.S. has changed over the past decade. The agency released a trove of demographic data that will be used to redraw political maps across an increasingly diverse country. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

By J.K. Schmid
Special to the AFRO

The White population of the United States fell for the first time on record, the US Census reports.

Specifically, non-Hispanic Whites have dropped from 63.7%, in 2010, to 57.8% in 2020.

The U.S. Census attributes this drop to a matching fall in White birth rates. The number of Whites in the U.S. has dropped from 196 million to 191 million. The U.S. Census estimates there are 330 million Americans currently living in the country.

Other demographers claim these numbers are less to do with a decline in Whites in number, but more to do with an increasing number of Americans declaring a multiracial identity.

Ten percent of Americans now claim two or more racial identities. The new 33.8 million multiracial Americans number is three times the 9 million number in 2010.

49.9 million Americans now identify as other than White, Black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, singularly or in combination.

The census counts 49.6 million Black Americans.

White Americans dropped most acutely among those under the age of 18. There is no majority race among the nation’s youngest Americans. Forty-seven percent of said Americans report as White.

This was a particularly challenging census, in the courts and on the ground. Census takers had to navigate wildfires and hurricanes at first, only to be confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

The Census remains a powerful political tool. It will serve as the foundation for every state’s redistricting project, whether these districts prove fair or gerrymandered.

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