Majority minority in the United States

US states districts and territories in 2020 in which non-Hispanic whites are less than 50%.png

In the United States of America, majority-minority area or minority-majority area is a term describing a U.S. state or jurisdiction whose population is composed of less than 50% non-Hispanic whites. Racial data is derived from self-identification questions on the U.S. Census and on U.S. Census Bureau estimates. (See Race and ethnicity in the United States Census). The term is often used in voting rights law to designate voting districts that are designed under the Voting Rights Act to enable ethnic or language minorities "the opportunity to elect their candidate of choice."[1] In that context, the term was first used by the Supreme Court in 1977.[2] The Court had previously used the term in employment discrimination and labor relations cases.[3]

  • Six states are majority-minority as of July 2019: Hawaii, New Mexico, California, Texas, Nevada,[4][5][6] and Maryland.[7]
  • Washington, D.C. and all populated United States territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa) are also majority-minority. None of the United States territories ever had a white majority.
  • As of 2011, minority births (children under age 1) are the majority among births nationwide.[8]
  • As of 2017, minority children comprise the majority among children in fourteen states: the six that are already majority-minority, plus the following eight: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Delaware, Alaska, New York, and Mississippi.[9]
  • As of 2019, children are majority minority nationwide.[10]
  • Per the 2020 United States Census, the percentage of non-Hispanic white residents is below 60% in seventeen states: the six that are already majority-minority, plus the following eleven: Georgia (50.1%), Florida (51.5%), New Jersey (51.9%), New York (52.5%), Arizona (53.4%), Mississippi (55.4%), Louisiana (55.8%), Alaska (57.5%), Illinois (58.3%), Delaware (58.6%), and Virginia (58.6%).[11]
  • The whole United States of America is projected to become majority-minority by the middle of the 21st century if current trends continue. The U.S. will then become the first major post-industrial society in the world where the dominant group established in an earlier period transitioned from majority to minority under the influence of changing demographics.[12] With alternate immigration scenarios, the whole United States is projected to become majority-minority sometime between 2041 and 2046 (depending on the amount of net immigration into the U.S., birth/death rates, and intermarriage rates over the preceding years).[13][14][15]


From colonial times to the early-twentieth century, much of the Deep South had a black majority. Three Southern states had populations that were majority-black: Louisiana (from 1810 until about 1890[16]), South Carolina (until the 1920s[17]), and Mississippi (from the 1830s to the 1930s.[18])

In the same period, Georgia,[19] Alabama,[20] and Florida[21] had populations that were nearly 50% black.

Maryland,[22] North Carolina,[23] and Virginia[24] had black populations approaching or exceeding 40%. Texas's black population reached 30%.[25]

The demographics of these states changed markedly from the 1890s through the 1960s, as two waves of the Great Migration resulted in more than 6,500,000 African Americans to abandon the economically depressed, segregated Deep South in search of better employment opportunities and living conditions, first in Northern and Midwestern industrial cities, and later west to California. One-fifth of Florida's black population had left the state by 1940, for instance.[26] During the last thirty years of the twentieth century into the twenty-first century, scholars have documented a reverse New Great Migration of black people to southern states, but typically to urban destinations in the New South, which have pleasant climates and developing economies.[27]

Washington, D.C. was one of the magnets for black people during the Great Migration, and reached a majority-black status during the migration's latter stages. The black proportion has declined since the 1990s due to gentrification and expanding opportunities elsewhere, with some leaving the district because of rising housing costs or for opportunities in the South.[28] Many black people have moved to Maryland, Georgia, Florida, and Texas. They are joined by others migrating to jobs in states of the New South in a reverse of the Great Migration.[27] Per the 2020 Census, the Black population represented 40.9% of the D.C. population[29] — a considerable decline from 75% in the late-1970s. At the same time, Asian and Hispanic populations have increased in the District, and it is still classified as a majority-minority area.

Since 1965, changes in the origin of foreign immigration have resulted in increases in the number of majority-minority areas, most notably in California.[30] Its legal resident population was 89.5% 'non-Hispanic white' in the 1940s, but by 2020, was 34.7% 'non-Hispanic white'.[31]

In 2010, minority children comprised the majority among children in the six states that were already majority-minority, plus the following four: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi.[32]

Hawaii is the only state to have never had a non-Hispanic white majority. In addition, all populated United States territories have never had a non-Hispanic white majority. New Mexico is the only state where a single non-white group, Hispanic Americans, make up over 50% of the population; this is in addition to a large Native American population making up almost 10% of the population.


Many cities in the United States became majority-minority by 2010.[33] Out of the top 15 cities by population, Columbus, Ohio is the only city not classified as majority-minority.[clarification needed]

As of 2012, 50 metropolitan areas in the U.S. are majority-minority.[34]

As of 2015, 12% of U.S. counties are majority-minority.[35]

Data collectionEdit

The first data for New Mexico was a 5% sample in 1940, which estimated non-Hispanic whites at 50.9%.[36] Hispanics are not classified as a race, according to the U.S. census, but as an ethnic and cultural group of any race. Of respondents who listed Hispanic origin, some identified as being of the White race, roughly half gave responses tabulated under "Some other race" (e.g. giving a national origin such as "Mexican" or a designation such as "Mestizo" as race), and much smaller numbers listed Black, American Indian, or Asian as their race.

In U.S. censuses since 1990, self-identification by respondents has been the primary way to identify race of residents. Presumption of race based on countries or regions given in the ancestry question is used only when a respondent has answered the ancestry question but not the race question. The U.S. Census defines "White people" very broadly as "people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa,[37] i.e. Caucasoid. This definition has changed through the years.

Although the census attempts to enumerate both citizens and non-citizens, the undocumented immigrant population of the United States has proven hard to quantify; the census uses a 12 million base estimate nationally.[38]

Maps and graphsEdit

Race/ethnicity by location per 2020 census data[39]White populations are marked in italics. Largest non-white groups are marked in bold.
Area White (all) Non-Hispanic White Asian American African American Hispanic or Latino American Native American Native Hawaiian Two or more races
California 41.2% 34.7% 15.4% 6.7% 39.4% 1.6% 0.3% 14.6%
Hawaii 22.9% 21.6% 37.2% 1.6% 8.5% 0.3% 11.0% 25.3%
New Mexico 51.0% 36.5% 1.8% 2.1% 47.7% 10.0% 0.1% 19.9%
Texas 50.1% 39.7% 5.4% 12.2% 39.3% 1.0% 0.1% 17.6%
District of Columbia 39.6% 38.0% 4.8% 41.4% 11.3% 0.5% 0.1% 8.1%
Maryland 58.5% 49.1% 6.7% 31.1% 8.5% 0.6% -- 2.9%
United States 61.6% 57.8% 6.0% 12.4% 18.7% 1.1% 0.2% 10.2%

Majority-minority counties in the United States by stateEdit



In the United States for the 2018/2019 school year, 78.7% of white public school students attended schools where they are the majority, compared to 55.9% of Hispanics, 42.0% of African Americans, and 14.3% of Asians.[40] At a national level in the US with regards to racial classification, public schools obtained majority minority status in 2014.[41]

Other usesEdit

Normally, a state is classified as majority-minority because of the ethnic or racial makeup of residents, but other criteria are occasionally used, such as religion, disability, or age. For example, the majority of Utah residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Christian denomination that is a religious minority throughout the rest of the United States. In addition to Mormon-dominant Utah, Roman Catholic majority Rhode Island and Louisiana are the only states in the U.S. where a single denomination constitutes a majority of the population. (By contrast, numerous denominations are classified as Protestant.) But, no U.S. state has a majority composed of any non-Christian group, except for Hawaii, where 51.1% of the population follow religions that would be non-mainstream in the rest of the United States. Hawaii is classified as religious majority of Unaffiliated, including agnostics, atheists, humanists, the irreligious, and secularists (non-practicing).


In January 2016, CUNY sociologist Richard Alba wrote an article in The American Prospect arguing that the way in which majority-minority calculations are made by the Census are misleading. Anyone identifying as of Hispanic, Asian, or Black ancestry is classified as non-white, although they may also have white ancestry. Alba argues that the incomes, marriage patterns, and social identities of people of who are mixed Hispanic-white and Asian-white are closer to those of white people than monoracial Hispanics or Asians. Thus, when the Census says that non-Hispanic whites are projected to be less than 50% of the population by the 2040s, people of mixed-race ancestry are improperly excluded from that category.[42]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburgh, Inc. v. Carey, 430 U.S. 144 97 S.Ct. 996 (Supreme Court of the United States March 01, 1977).
  2. ^ United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburgh, Inc. v. Carey, 430 U.S. 144 97 S.Ct. 996 (Supreme Court of the United States March 01, 1977)
  3. ^ Sledge (Harrison) v. J.P. Stevens & Co., Not Reported in F.Supp. 1975 WL 278 (United States District Court;  E.D. North Carolina, Wilson Division. December 22, 1975); Winchester Spinning Corp. v. N. L. R. B., 402 F.2d 299 (United States Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit. October 08, 1968).
  4. ^ "U.S. whites will soon be the minority in number, but not power – Baltimore Sun". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  5. ^ "Minority population surging in Texas". NBC News. Associated Press. August 18, 2005. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  6. ^ "Explore Census Data".
  7. ^ "B03002 HISPANIC OR LATINO ORIGIN BY RACE - Maryland - 2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. July 1, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2020.
  8. ^ "On the Records: Texas One of Five "Minority-Majority" States". 17 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Child population by race | KIDS COUNT Data Center".
  10. ^ "Child population by race | KIDS COUNT Data Center".
  11. ^ "Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States: 2010 Census and 2020 Census". United States Census Bureau. 2020. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  12. ^ "Whites to be minority in America in 2043: Census". GlobalPost. December 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  13. ^ Yen, Hope. "Longer US white majority if immigration slows". Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  14. ^ "2012 National Population Projections: Summary Tables – People and Households – U.S. Census Bureau". February 20, 2013. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  15. ^ "Children of color projected to be majority of U.S. youth this year". PBS NewsHour.
  16. ^ "Table 33. Louisiana – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1810 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-27.
  17. ^ "Race and Hispanic Origin for States" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2014. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  18. ^ "Table 39. Mississippi – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1800 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-27.
  19. ^ "Table 25. Georgia – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1790 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  20. ^ "Table 15. Alabama – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1800 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  21. ^ "Table 24. Florida – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1830 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-27.
  22. ^ "Race and Hispanic Origin for States" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  23. ^ "Race and Hispanic Origin for States" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  24. ^ "Table 61. Virginia – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1790 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-03-27.
  25. ^ "African Americans." Handbook of Texas. Retrieved on December 17, 2011.
  26. ^ Maxine D. Rogers, et al., Documented History of the Incident Which Occurred at Rosewood, Florida in January 1923, December 1993, p.5 "Rosewood". Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-01., March 28, 2008
  27. ^ a b William H. Frey, "The New Great Migration: Black Americans' Return to the South, 1965–2000", The Brookings Institution, May 2004, pp.1–5 "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), accessed March 19, 2008
  28. ^ Dorell, Oren (March 25, 2011). "In D.C., blacks are no longer the majority -". Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  29. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - District of Columbia". United States Census Bureau.
  30. ^ "Table 19. California – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1850 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2015. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  31. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - California". United States Census Bureau.
  32. ^ "White children in the minority in 10 states – This Just In – Blogs". April 6, 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  33. ^ Gibson, Campbell; Jung, Kay (February 2005). Historical Census Statistics On Population Totals By Race, 1790 to 1990, and By Hispanic Origin, 1970 to 1990, For Large Cities And Other Urban Places In The United States (Report). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  34. ^ "Share of Population by Race/Ethnicity – Rankings – – data for diverse and equitable metropolitan areas".
  35. ^ Overberg, Janet Adamy and Paul (23 June 2016). "Population of Nonwhites Grows". Wall Street Journal.
  36. ^ "Table 46. New Mexico – Race and Hispanic Origin: 1850 to 1990" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 20, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-24.
  37. ^ The White Population: 2000, Census 2000 Brief C2KBR/01-4, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2001.
  38. ^ Brad Knickerbocker (May 16, 2006). "Illegal immigrants in the US: How many are there?". The Christian Science Monitor.
  39. ^ "2020 Census Redistricting: Supplementary Tables". United States Census Bureau. August 12, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ "U.S. public school students tend to go to schools where their classmates share their racial and ethnic background". Pew Research Center. December 14, 2021.
  41. ^ Claudia Rowe (December 22, 2016). "Students of color changing the face of Washington schools — and the state, too". The News Tribune. At the national level, public schools became majority-minority in 2014.
  42. ^ "The Likely Persistence of a White Majority". 11 January 2016.

External linksEdit