More Whites Die Than Are Born in One-Third of States
Trend is reshaping the social, political and economic landscape of the U.S.By Janet Adamy, WSJ
Nov. 29, 2016 10:31 a.m. ET
More white people are dying than being born in about one-third of the states, a new peak in a trend that is reshaping the social, political and economic landscape of the U.S.
Research released Tuesday by the University of New Hampshire found that the number of states where white deaths outpace births has climbed rapidly over the last decade, rising to 17 in 2014 from just four in 2004.
These states extend beyond rural areas known for their withering populations to include those with large metropolitan areas, such as California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, as well as otherwise growing Sunbelt destinations like Nevada and Arizona.
The figures exclude residents moving from state to state and the arrival of immigrants. In a handful of these 17 states, the white population still rose in recent years because whites moved in, said Kenneth Johnson, a senior demographer and sociology professor at the University of New Hampshire who co-wrote the research.
And in all but Maine and West Virginia, these states are still seeing more births than deaths overall thanks to growing Latino, black and Asian populations.
White women are having fewer babies, and drugs, alcohol and suicide have helped push up the mortality rate among middle-aged whites.
The result is a rapidly changing country where fault lines around social programs are expected to shift as Republican president-elect Donald Trump moves into the White House. Older white Americans are becoming increasingly reliant on Medicare and Social Security, while younger minority groups are making up a greater share of those tapping job training and the U.S. education system.