White, non-Hispanic Americans now account for less than six in 10 people in the U.S. — a more precipitous drop over the past decade than experts expected — and they're no longer the racial-ethnic majority in 13% of U.S. counties.
The big picture: America's identity is shifting with its population.
- Redistricting will decide how partisan power is divvied up for the next decade — but in some states, those politically driven decisions may obscure these deeper statistical trends.
By the numbers: White, non-Hispanic Americans are about 58% of the U.S. population, according to data from the 2020 census released on Thursday. That's lower than the estimates of 60%, and it compares with about 64% in 2010.
- They are no longer the racial-ethic majority in 400 of the nation's 3,100+ counties and county equivalents, up from 340 a decade ago.
Be smart: The pace of the decline may reflect a combination of actual change plus new ways the Census Bureau is asking about demographic identity to capture Americans who identify with more than one race.
The intrigue: Non-whiteness and diversity are actually two different measures. The Census also has developed a way to calculate diversity based on how likely it is that two people chosen at random within a boundary will be of different races or ethnicities.
- The least diverse state, by this measure, is Maine, at 19%. The most diverse is Hawaii, at 76%.