National Data | Confirmation From Camarota: Immigration Moratorium Could Save Historic American Majority

The Census Bureau recently announced that the number of non-white Americans has surpassed 100 million for the first time. It estimated that on July 1, 2006, minorities accounted for about one-third (33.6 percent) of the U.S. population, while non-Hispanic whites made up the remaining 66.4 percent.

As recently as 1990, three quarters (76 percent) of Americans called themselves non-Hispanic white. In 1965, nine-tenths (88 percent) of the American population was white. 

When I reported the 100 million milestone in May, I estimated that 2038 would be the first year in which present-day "minorities" would be in the majority. As early as 2011, I found, most births will be minority.

This shift is essentially all caused by public policy—specifically, the Immigration Act of 1965 and the simultaneous collapse of law enforcement against illegal immigration. As a result, the U.S. demographic balance has been completely destabilized. The U.S. federal government is literally doing what the poet Bertolt Brecht suggested only satirically that the East German communist government should do: dissolving the people and electing new one.

My method was crude—little more than an extrapolation of 2006 white and minority population growth rates. I made no effort to adjust for increased immigration or declining fertility rates.

Yet (ahem!) it turns out that my back-of-the-envelope calculation is remarkably close to that of a new study which makes all of these adjustments: the CIS Backgrounder 100 Million More: Projecting the Impact of Immigration On the U.S. Population, 2007 to 2060 by the redoubtable Steve Camarota.

Camarota's major focus is immigration's impact on overall population growth and age distribution. But, in a table discreetly placed at the back of the report, he projects the racial composition of the U.S. population at different assumed rates of immigration. Applying these figures to his population projections we can discern the intimate link between immigration and minority population growth. [Table 1]

Camarota offers three projections.

  • Net immigration continues at the current rate of 1.25 million per year

In this case, by the year 2060:

1.   Total population will increase by 167 million (+56 percent)

2.   The minority population will grow by 152 million (+149 percent)

3.   A majority of the U.S. population will be non-white (51 percent by 2050) [Table 1.]

  •  Net immigration at 2 million per year.

Camarota thinks this is possible because the  Census historically underestimates immigration, especially illegals.

In this case, by the year 2060:

1.   Total population will increase by 230 million (+77 percent)

2.   The minority population will grow by 204 million (+201 percent)

3.   Minorities will be 50.2 percent of the population by 2040 (and 57.6 percent by 2060).

My call that minorities would become the majority c. 2038 looks right on the money.

  • Zero net annual immigration,

The minority share of the U.S. population will rise no matter what, because immigration has already pushed the minority population to record levels, and because non-white mothers (immigrant and native born alike) have significantly more children than their white counterparts. But a moratorium would stabilize things.

In this case, by the year 2060

1.   Total population will increase by 62 million (+21 percent)

2.   The minority population will grow by 64 million (+63 percent)

3.   By 2060, today's minorities would still be in the minority—46 percent of that year's population.

A minority majority may never happen in America. Birth rates are notoriously unpredictable. And public policy could shift, so that immigration reflects the national origins of current Americans.

Which was the conclusion that an earlier generation of Americans reached when they terminated the last "Great Wave" of immigration in the 1920s.

Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.