A majority-minority or minority-majority area refers to a sub-national jurisdiction in which one or more racial and/or ethnic minorities (relative to the whole country's population) make up a majority of the population. This term was used in this context from at least 1978, if not earlier.
United States of America
In the United States of America majority-minority or minority-majority area is a United States state or jurisdiction whose population is composed of less than 50% non-Hispanic whites. Racial data is derived from self-identification questions on the U.S. Census and on U.S. Census Bureau estimates. (See Race in the United States Census).
- Four states are majority-minority as of 2010: Hawaii (which is the only state that has never had a white majority), New Mexico, California, and Texas.
- The District of Columbia reached a majority black status during the latter stages of the Great Migration. Although still majority-minority, blacks are no longer the majority as many Asians, Hispanics, and whites have moved into the district in the last decade.
- The percentage of non-Hispanic white residents has fallen below 60% in Maryland, Georgia, Nevada, Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
- All populated United States territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa) are majority-minority areas, and they never had a white majority.
- 13 of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. are majority-minority. An additional 7 have a non-Hispanic white population below 60%. So half of the top 40 metros have a white population below 60%.
- As of 2011, 11% of U.S. counties are now majority-minority. Another 7% are near the tipping point and are predicted to become majority-minority soon.
- The whole United States of America is projected to become majority-minority in 2043. With alternate immigration scenarios, the whole U.S. is projected to become majority-minority sometime between 2041 and 2046 (depending on the amount of net immigration into the U.S. over the next 35 years).
- Minority children will be the majority in the entire United States by 2019.
- Minority children are now the majority in the following ten states: California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Maryland.
From colonial times to the early 20th century, much of the Lower South had a black majority. Three Southern states had populations that were majority black. They were Louisiana (until about 1890), South Carolina (until the 1920s) and Mississippi (from the 1830s to the 1930s). In the same period, close to but just below the 50% level of black populations were Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, while Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia had black populations approaching or exceeding 40%. These states changed markedly from the 1890s through the 1950s, as two waves of the Great Migration led more than 6.5 million blacks to abandon the economically depressed, legally segregated Deep South in search of better job opportunities and living conditions, first in Northern and Midwestern industrial cities, and later west to California. One-fifth of Florida's black population had left the state by 1940, for instance. During the last 30 years of the 20th century into the 21st century, scholars have documented a reverse New Great Migration of blacks back to southern states, but typically those of the New South, which have the best jobs and developing economies.
The District of Columbia, one of the magnets for Great Migration blacks, was long the sole majority-minority federal jurisdiction in the continental U.S. The black proportion has declined since the 1990s due to gentrification and expanding opportunities, with many blacks moving to suburban Maryland and others migrating to jobs in states of the New South in a reverse of the Great Migration.
Since 1965, foreign immigration has spurred the proliferation of majority-minority areas, most notably in California, whose legal resident population was 89.5% 'non-Hispanic white' in the 1940s, but which was estimated at 39.4% 'non-Hispanic white' in 2012.
Many cities in the United States became majority-minority by 2010. Out of the cities that had a peak population of 500,000 or more before 1990, the cities that fit into this category include Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington D.C., Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Buffalo, New York City, Tampa, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Memphis, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio.
The first data for New Mexico was a 5% sample in 1940 which estimated non-Hispanic whites at 50.9%. Hispanics do not constitute a race but an ethnic and cultural group: Of respondents who listed Hispanic origin, some listed White race, roughly half gave responses tabulated under "Some other race" (e.g. giving a national origin such as "Mexican" or a designation such as "Mestizo" as race), and much smaller numbers listed Black, Native American, or Asian race.
In recent U.S. censuses, self-identification has been the primary way to identify race. Presumption of race based on countries or regions given in the ancestry question is used only when a respondent has answered the ancestry question but not the race question. The U.S. Census currently defines "white people" very broadly as "people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa, i.e. Caucasoids. This definition has changed through the years.
Although the Census attempts to enumerate both citizens and non-citizens, the illegal immigrant population of the United States has proven hard to quantify; the census uses a 12 million base estimate nationally. However, current estimates based on national surveys, administrative data and other sources of information indicate that the current population may range as high as 20 to 30 million.
Maps and graphs
|Area||White (all)||Non-Hispanic White||Asian American||African American||Hispanic or Latino American||Native American||Native Hawaiian||Two or more races|
|District of Columbia||38.5%||34.8%||3.5%||50.7%||9.1%||0.3%||0.1%||2.9%|
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005 (for the year 2000)
Normally, state is considered to be majority-minority because of its ethnic/racial makeup, but other criteria is occasionally used, such as religion, disability, or age. For example, the majority of Utah residents are Mormons, a Christian denomination that is a religious minority throughout the rest of the United States. Utah and Rhode Island, which has a Roman Catholic majority, are the only states in the U.S. where a single denomination constitutes a majority of the population. However, no U.S. state has a majority composed of any non-Christian group, except for Hawaii, where 51.1% of the population follow religions that would be non-mainstream in the rest of the United States. Hawaii is classified as religious majority of Unaffiliated, including agnostics, atheists, humanists, the Irreligious, and Secularists (non-practicing).
While the concept exists in other nations, the exact term differs from place to place and language to language.
In many large, contiguous countries like China, there are many autonomous regions where a minority population is the majority. These regions are generally the result of historical population distributions, not because of recent immigration or recent differences in birth and fertility rates between various groups.
English speaking countries
- Unlike the United States where there are four (4) minority-majority states, none of the Canadian provinces is minority-majority. Please note that the definition of a minority differs between US and Canada, since, whereas in the US it includes anyone that is either non-White or Hispanic (i.e. includes Hispanic whites), in Canada it is defined (Employment Equity Act, used by Statistics Canada) as "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". That means that (a) Aboriginals are considered majority, (b) Hispanic whites are considered majority, but (c) those Arabs and West Asians that are non-white in colour are considered minority, even if Caucasian in race. However, the numbers are not close, so this difference does not bear any practical significance for our purposes, except for the case of the territory of Nunavut, which would be minority-majority if the US-style definition of racial minority were to be applied (24,875 of 29,325 residents are Inuit).
- The province with the highest proportion of visible minorities (2006 Census) in British Columbia (24.8%), followed by Ontario (22.8%). This means that in no Canadian province has the percentage of the racial majority (Aboriginals + White Caucasians) yet fallen under 75%.
- No census metropolitan area (CMA) is minority-majority yet. However, Toronto and Vancouver CMAs are on the tip of becoming such; in particular, according to the 2006 Census, the Toronto CMA has 42.9% of visible minorites, while the Vancouver CMA has 41.7% of visible minorities. These are the only metropolitan areas in Canada where the percentage of the racial majority has fallen under 60%. Taking into account the 20 largest census metropolitan areas, Calgary comes a distant third with 22.2%.
- Racial or "visible minorities" (as they are known in Canada) are expected to become majorities in a few Canadian cities (Toronto and Vancouver) by 2030.
- The Toronto district of Scarborough has a population made up of 67.4% visible minorities; all but one of the ten Scarborough wards are visible-minority-majority, of which, in particular, Scarborough-Agincourt and Scarborough-Rouge River are Chinese-majority (53.4% and 57.3% respectively; 83.7% and 87.8% respectively for all visible minorities). Likewise, 19 of 25 Scarborough neighbourhoods (as designated by the City of Toronto) are visible-minority-majority. For purposes of contradistinction, in the "Old" (pre-amalgamation) City of Toronto, 68% of the population are white Caucasian (or Aboriginal) and the visible-minority-majority neighbourhoods are five in a total of 44 neighbourhoods (Regent Park, North St. James Town, Bay Street Corridor, Kensington-Chinatown, and Parkdale).
- The Toronto suburbs of Markham (65.4%) and Brampton (57%) also have a minority-majority population, of primarily Chinese and East Indian ethnic origin respectively.
- The Vancouver suburbs of Richmond (65.1%) and Burnaby (54.1%) also have a minority-majority population, of primarily Chinese ethnic origin in both cases.
- The French linguistic minority is the majority in the province of Quebec (79.0% have French as their mother tongue, according to the 2006 Census), and has been since before Canadian Confederation.
- The province of Saskatchewan may also have an Aboriginal majority by 2050, according to some research.
- Regarding religion (2001 Census data), Quebec and New Brunswick have a Roman Catholic majority, while Newfoundland and Labrador has a Protestant majority, and so does the territory of Nunavut. In the other provinces and territories, no denomination exceeds the 50% mark; however, Protestants come first in all provinces and territories, except only Prince Edward Island and Northwest Territories where Catholics do. No other Christian denomination, or other religion, or lack of religious affiliation, comes first or second in any province or territory.
- Fiji did not have any racial or ethnic group comprise a majority from the 1930s to the 1990s, with the exception of the 1960s and possibly early 1970s.
- Muslims are a majority in the Lakshadweep and Jammu and Kashmir states/territories of India, and in some other districts of India. However, Muslims are a minority in India overall.
- Leicester is set to soon become the UK's first ethnic minority-majority city. Indians make up by far the largest ethnic group besides the English ethnic group who constitute 57.5% of the population. The White population stands at 64% of the population if all White categories are included (White Irish and White Other). At 25.0% of the local population in 2007, Leicester has one of the highest percentages of Indians per head of the population of any local authority in the UK. Outside of London, Slough is the most ethnically diverse local authority in the country, and is expected to become one of the first minority-majority towns in the United Kingdom.
Those identifying as white declined to 47.7 percent (about 91 million people) in 2010 census from 52.9 percent (about 93 million people) in 2000 in the entire country. However, in Brazil, this is not simply a matter of origin and birthrate, but identity changes as well. The black minority, whose women have more children in average than the pardo minority, did not enlarge its representation in the population to more than 1.5% in the period, while it was mostly the growth in the number of pardo people (~38% in 2000, 42.4% in 2010) that caused the demographic plurality of Brazil.
However, a process similar to that of the United States is indeed happening in Brazil, for a bigger amount of time, at a much slower pace. See White Brazilian#By state.
- Turks outnumber Bulgarians in Kardzhali and Razgrad Provinces (Bulgarians are a huge majority in Bulgaria overall).
- Minorities are the majority in several banlieues (suburban housing projects). The lack of French census data on ethnic and racial minorities makes it difficult to know about all of the majority-minority areas in France.
- Arabs are a majority of the population in Israel's Northern District and in several natural regions in other parts of Israel.
- Non-Haredi Jews are projected to become a minority of Israel's total population by 2059.
- Harghita and Covasna provinces in Romania have a Hungarian majority, while Romania as a whole has a Romanian majority.
(Former) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
- No ethnic group composed a majority of the population in Abkhazia from at least 2003 until around 2011.
- While Estonians form a majority of the population in Estonia overall, Russians made up a majority in Ida-Viru County since at least 2000.
- The Georgian province of Samtskhe-Javakheti has an Armenian majority, while the Georgian province of Kvemo Kartli has an Azeri plurality.
- The Kazakh SSR did not have any ethnic group/nationality comprise a majority between the 1930s and the collapse of the USSR. Some regions of Kazakhstan still do not have a Kazakh majority today, though.
- The Kirgiz SSR did not have any ethnic group/nationality comprise a majority between the 1940s or 1950s until the 1980s.
- The Latvian SSR almost became minority-majority (the ethnic Latvian population there decreased from 62% to 52% between 1959 and 1989), but the collapse of the USSR prevented this from happening. While the whole Latvian SSR never became majority-minority, the eight largest cities there did become majority-minority by 1989.
The Soviet Union as a whole
- There were concerns that the whole Soviet Union would lose its ethnic Russian majority due to the high birth rates in the Caucasus and Central Asia as early as 1970. The percentage of Russians among the whole Soviet population was consistently declining, from 55% in 1959 to 51% in 1989. However, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, before ethnic Russians could have lost their majority among the Soviet population.
- Macedonia has some places/areas where Macedonians are a minority. These places/areas often have an Albanian majority.
- List of majority minority United States congressional districts
- Lists of U.S. cities with non-white majority populations
- Race and ethnicity in censuses
- Race and ethnicity in the United States
- Race and ethnicity in the United States Census
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