Demography

The coming end of White Americans…or not

Every other week a new batch of articles seem to appear in the media gleefully mentioning yet another statistic that shows why white people, you know, those bad, bad people who invented things like human rights and women’s equality, will soon disappear from the face of the earth.

One thing most projections fail to take into account is demographic segments. If a minority of a population has very low fertility, they can bring the entire population’s apparent fertility below replacement levels, so that demographers may blindly assume that the entire population is dwindling. But the reality can be the opposite; after a decade or two of population decrease, as the low-fertility minority dwindles, high-fertility segments of the population pick up the slack and fertility goes above replacement again.

Using politically-segmented demographic data from the General Social Survey (provided by the Audacious Epigone), I charted the change in the population of white people in the United States across the coming few generations, taking account of fertility rates, death rates and generational shifts in political leaning (using Gallup data). The surprising finding is that [trigger warning] white people aren’t disappearing, they are actually increasing.

[Link to the spreadsheet whence the data comes: Google Spreadsheets | Microsoft Excel]

Assumptions that went into my model:

  • 25% of the population is made up of fertile females.
  • The length of a generation is 28 years.
  • The fertile period of a woman’s life is 28 years (ages 16 to 44, for example). The usual assumption is 15-49. However, since the birth rate of above-45 women is negligible (less than 1%), and since teenage births are decreasing, a tighter range of 16 to 44 suggested by the 28-year fertile period is a reasonable assumption.
  • The death rate will continue to be 8.2 deaths per 1000 population.
  • 21% of offspring will move one step left on the political spectrum, 7% will move one step right, and the 72% remainder will follow in their parents’ footsteps (as suggested by the Gallup poll linked above).

Next up is the projected populations of the various political segments of the white population:

Here is the same data presented as a table:

Year Total White Population Extremely Liberal Liberal Slightly Liberal Moderate Slightly Conservative Conservative Extremely Conservative
2015 197.7 4.9 25.1 22.3 78.9 30.8 28.3 7.3
2043 229.9 7.0 26.9 29.5 87.2 37.4 32.6 9.4
2071 267.2 9.3 29.1 37.4 96.7 44.9 37.7 12.0
2099 310.2 11.8 32.0 46.0 107.7 53.6 43.8 15.2
2127 360.0 14.8 35.5 55.6 120.3 63.7 51.0 19.2
2155 417.7 18.1 39.7 66.3 134.8 75.3 59.6 24.0

The same data, presented as percentages:

Year Total Population Extremely Liberal Liberal Slightly Liberal Moderate Slightly Conservative Conservative Extremely Conservative
2015 197.7 2.50% 12.70% 11.30% 39.90% 15.60% 14.30% 3.70%
2043 229.9 3.04% 11.68% 12.84% 37.92% 16.26% 14.16% 4.10%
2071 267.2 3.47% 10.91% 13.99% 36.21% 16.82% 14.10% 4.51%
2099 310.2 3.81% 10.31% 14.84% 34.73% 17.29% 14.11% 4.91%
2127 360.0 4.10% 9.85% 15.45% 33.43% 17.68% 14.16% 5.33%
2155 417.7 4.33% 9.50% 15.87% 32.28% 18.02% 14.27% 5.75%

Below is the data aggregated by leaning (conservative, liberal or moderate). The green line shows the conservative advantage, the number by which conservatives outnumber liberals:

Here is the same data presented as a table:

Year Moderates Liberals Conservatives Conservative Advantage
2015 78.9 52.4 66.4 14.0
2043 87.2 63.4 79.4 16.0
2071 96.7 75.8 94.7 18.9
2099 107.7 89.9 112.6 22.8
2127 120.3 105.8 133.8 28.0
2155 134.8 124.0 158.8 34.8

If these numbers show one thing, it is that it is going to get increasingly harder for liberals to win elections as the number of conservatives grows. Liberals will have to continue importing benefits-dependent voters from poor countries to defeat the continuous increase in conservative voters.

My own feeling is that the white population will stay below 200 million until the 2030’s due to the increasing number of baby boomers dying, from then on things will follow the pattern suggested by the numbers above.