The U.S. workforce (generally ages
25 to 64) is in the midst of a sweeping
demographic transformation. From
1980 to 2020, the white working-age
population is projected to decline
from 82% to 63% (see figure 1).
During the same period, the minority
portion of the workforce is projected
to double (from 18% to 37%),
and the Hispanic/Latino portion
is projected to almost triple
(from 6% to 17%).
This demographic shift can be
traced to two primary causes: larger
numbers of younger Americans
(ages 0 to 44) are ethnic minorities,
and increasing numbers of white
workers are reaching retirement age.
Over the next 15 years, the largest
increase in the younger U.S.
population is projected to be
Hispanic/Latino (see figure 2).
The younger population—including
those most likely to be in school,
college, or professional training—is
growing ever more racially diverse.
Meanwhile, the largest portion
of the white population is aging.
The number of whites is projected
to decline in all age groups younger
than 45 (see figure 2). The only age
level in which whites would outpace
minorities in population growth is
among those reaching retirement:
ages 65 and older.
Despite increasing levels
of ethnic diversity in nearly all states,
90% of Hispanics/Latinos reside
in just 16 states (see figure 3),
and 90% of African-Americans live
in 21 states (see figure 4).