Non-Hispanic, single-race whites remained the nation's largest group with a population of 197.8 million. The total of all other groups was 118.3 million, or 37.4 percent of the population. Non-Hispanic single-race whites made up 52.4 percent of the population under 18.
Asians were the fastest-growing group from 2012 to 2013, though that distinction has alternated between Asians and Hispanics over the years. The Asian population increased by almost 2.9 percent to 19.4 million, an increase of about 554,000 people. Hispanics remained the second largest group overall, growing by 2.1 percent (or more than 1.1 million) to slightly more than 54 million. Hispanics were 17.1 percent of the total population in 2013, up about 0.2 percentage points from 2012. The primary driver of Asian population growth in 2013 was international migration, accounting for 61 percent of the total Asian population change in the last year. Hispanic population growth, on the other hand, was fueled primarily by natural increase (births minus deaths), which accounted for about 78 percent of the total Hispanic population change.
The non-Hispanic white alone population was the only group to have natural decrease (more deaths than births) from 2012 to 2013. However, due to migration, its population rose 0.1 percent from 2012 to 2013, reaching 197.8 million. Because of its slow rate of growth relative to other groups, its share of the total population declined from 63.0 percent to 62.6 percent over the period.
The demographic divide between older white Americans and younger minorities grew wider last year, according to Census Bureau data released Thursday, highlighting a long-term shift that might alter the interplay between generations.
In 2013, nearly 79% of people 65 and older were white, but for those younger than 15, the share of whites was just over half. In 2000, those proportions were nearly 84% and almost 61%, respectively.
The widening generational gap comes as the U.S. population as a whole grows older and more racially diverse. Non-Hispanic whites made up 62.6% of the country last year, down from 63% in 2012, continuing their long-term decline as the dominant American group. More whites died than were born last year, while the share of both Asian-Americans and Hispanics grew.
Hispanic population growth was fueled by an increase in births, as the number immigrating continued to fall. (The Census Bureau makes no distinction between legal and illegal immigration.) Just over half of all babies born in the U.S. were white.
In some states, the generational gap was much larger—particularly in places that keep and attract retirees and are also home to many immigrant families. In Arizona, 82% of people 65 and over were white, while just 41% of those under 15 were white—a 41-point gap—according to calculations by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who studies these data.