The non-Hispanic white population in the United States is aging rapidly and shrank for the first time between 2015 and 2016, according to new data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The decrease in the overall white population is a downward revision of the 2015-2016 data released last year. Between 2016 and 2017, the U.S. non-Hispanic white population declined about 0.02 percent, to 197.8 million people.
The reasons are varied, demographers said, citing the facts that more Americans are now deciding to have children at a later age, the baby boomer generation is moving toward retirement, and the flow of European immigrants is ebbing.
The average non-Hispanic white American is 43.5 years old while the average Hispanic American is 29.3 years old, the data show. The median age of U.S. residents crept up to 38 last year.
There are fewer white women in their prime childbearing years as a share of the overall population than ever before, and more minorities in childbearing years than ever before, The Hill reported.
According to the data, the Hispanic population rose 2.1 percent to 58.9 million in the middle of 2017, while the African American population rose 1.2 percent to 47.4 million. There are 22.2 million Asian Americans currently.
Overall, the U.S. population growth has slowed since 1992, Pew researchers have found.