The U.S. Latino population, now about 1 in 5 Americans, is projected to continue increasing through the year 2060, when over 1 in 4 Americans are likely to be Latino, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections released Thursday.
Hispanics are now 19.1% of the U.S. population but are projected to make up 26.9% of the population in less than four decades. Meanwhile, the non-Hispanic white population is projected to continue to decline from 58.9% now to 44.9% by 2060.
Overall, the U.S. population is projected to continue to grow from 333 million today to a high of nearly 370 million in 2080, but then dip downward to 366 million in the year 2100.
The projections are an update from those last issued by the Census Bureau in 2017. The numbers issued Thursday incorporated data on births, deaths and international migration, leading to a slower pace of population growth than previously projected, Census Bureau demographer Sandra Johnson stated in a news release.
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“The U.S. has experienced notable shifts in the components of population change over the last five years,” she said. “Some of these, like the increases in mortality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to be short-term while others, including the declines in fertility that have persisted for decades, are likely to continue into the future.”
The bureau issued four sets of projections for the overall population based on different scenarios. They refer to the four projections as the middle series or the most likely projections; the high immigration scenario; the low immigration scenario; and the far less likely zero-immigration scenario.
In every scenario, drops in fertility and an aging population will lead to more deaths than births in the U.S. That is expected to happen in 2038 in the most likely projections; in 2036 in the low immigration scenario; and in 2042 in the high immigration scenario. In the zero-immigration scenario, it happens in 2033.
Because the U.S. is projected to have more deaths than births, immigration is projected to be the largest contributor to population growth.
In the high immigration scenario, the U.S. population reaches 435 million by 2100.
In the most likely projections, the population peaks at 370 million in 2080, then drops to 366 million in 2100. The low-immigration scenario is projected to peak at around 346 million in 2043 and decline thereafter, dropping to 319 million in 2100.
Suzanne Gamboa is a national reporter for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com