By William H. Frey
The State of Metropolitan America
(May 12, 2010) [The just released "State of Metropolitan America" study from the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program portrays the demographic and social trends shaping the nation's economic and societal metropolitan populations. The excerpt below is from the Race & Ethnicity section of the report]
The racial and ethnic profile of the United States continued its transformation in the 2000s, reflecting the combined impact of continued immigration and higher fertility rates for nonwhite groups.
Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 83 percent of U.S. population growth from 2000 to 2008. The continued faster growth of Hispanic, Asian, and black populations put the country as a whole on track to reach "majority minority" status by 2042, and its children to reach that milestone by 2023. More than three-quarters of racial and ethnic minorities today live in the nation's 100 largest metro area.
A majority of Asians, and a near-majority of Hispanics, live in just 10 metropolitan areas. Yet the 2000s continued a slow dispersal of these groups away from major immigrant gateway areas like Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Fast-growing areas of the South like Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. ranked among the largest gainers of Asian and Hispanic population from 2000 to 2008.
Blacks continue to move southward, as metro Atlanta surpassed metro Chicago for total black population by 2008. Whites moved to many of these "New Sun Belt" areas in large numbers as well during the 2000s, though their population shrank in large, coastal metro areas like Los Angeles and New York that continued to attract significant minority populations.
For the first time, a majority of all racial/ethnic groups in large metro areas live in the suburbs. Deep divides by race and ethnicity still separate cities and suburbs in metro areas like Detroit, but others like Los Angeles show much greater convergence between jurisdictions. In a handful of cities including Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C., the share of population that is white increased during the 2000s.