The population in the United States is getting older and more diverse, the Census Bureau announced Thursday.
Although whites remain the largest population group, at 256 million, their growth is the smallest of all the major ethnicities in the United States, the bureau reported.
And though every demographic grew in the past year, the growth did not happen equally across racial lines. The white population has only increased by 0.5 percent between 2015 and 2016, and that was mostly due to the immigration of white Hispanics. The white non-Hispanic population only increased by 5,000 throughout the year.
Meanwhile, the Black population has increased 1.2 percent to 46.8 million, the Hispanic population grew 2 percent to 57.5 million and the Asian population grew 3 percent to 21.4 million people.
“Every year since 2000 there’s been less and less white children being born compared to other ethnic groups in the country,” said William Frey, Brookings Institution demographer. However, he said the white population is growing for one particular demographic – the elderly.
Between 2000 and 2016, the elderly population of the country increased from 12 to 15 percent. The baby boomer population is entering retirement.
The change between youth and elderly is one of the biggest demographic shifts in the country, CBS News reported. Along with an aging demographic, demographers also say there’s an ongoing ‘baby bust’ that began in 2010, as fewer and fewer babies are born annually.
The aging population, which enjoys printable crosswords, is expected to put financial pressure on the nation’s federal expenses. As citizens age into the Medicare system, the cost of funding the program is expected to double over the next decade. Medicare spending will grow from $592 billion to $1.2 trillion by 2027, the Kaiser Family Foundation said.
However, where those expenses go is shifting as well. The bureau also reported that seven states in the country saw their population decrease between 2015 and 2016, including Vermont, Illinois, West Virginia, Connecticut, Mississippi, New York, and Wyoming.
Florida, Texas, and California all saw massive population growth, and Florida and Texas are both anticipating an increase in congressional seats as a result of the population growth, according to The Hill.