What Census 2010 Is Telling us About Census 2020

Think the Adult Population Is Getting More Diverse? Wait Until You See the Kids

By Published on .

While the 2010 Census is meant to give us a detailed snapshot of the population as it stands today, the early results are also forecasting big changes to come. This half of the nation is becoming more diverse at a rapid pace starting with children. This will have profound effect on marketing in future years, particularly that which is directed at families with children. It will also impact ethnic targeting and media consumption habits.

The bureau is just more than halfway done with its state-by-state release of detailed population counts used for redrawing voting districts. Only two states in the Northeast (VT and NJ) are out, but seven in the Midwest (IN, IL, SD, NE, IA, MO, KS), 10 in the South (DE, MD, VA, NC, MS, AL, AR, OK, LA, TX) and seven in the West (UT, NV, CO, WY, HI, OR, WA). Those 26 states housed 134.5 million people in 2010, about 43.5% of the nation's total.

Of that total population, 101.2 million were adults and 33.3 million were children under age 18. Since 2000, the adult populations in those states have been increasing more than twice as fast as the children: Adults rose 13.5% vs. only 5.7% for children. But all of that growth in children was because the number of minority children increased rapidly while the number of White, non-Hispanic children dropped 7.8%.

We know that in just about every city and state, the population growth has been driven in the last decade by the increase in the Hispanic population. What the new data is showing is how that growth will continue -- fueled by new births, perhaps even more than immigration. Coupled with the decrease in the birth rate for non-Hispanic Whites, we'll be looking at a very different America in the coming decades.

For example, Hispanic children rose 52.3%, Asian kids increased 43.7% and multi-racial children increased 56.6%. In these 26 states only 54% of children were White, non-Hispanic, compared to 67% of adults. In 2000 just 15% of the children were Hispanic and 16% African-American. By 2010, 22% of children were Hispanic and 15% were African-American. Among adults in 2010, 13% were Hispanic compared to 10% in 2000, the percent of adults who were African-American remained the same at 13%, but the percent who were White, non-Hispanic dropped from 72% in 2000 to 67% in 2010.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this Census data is that in these 26 states there was a 12.0 million increase in the number of adults, but a mere 1.8 million increase in the number of children. The number of White, non-Hispanic kids dropped 1.5 million, while the number of White, non-Hispanic adults increased 3.7 million from 2000 to 2010.

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