09/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Census Projections: U.S. Will Be Half Minority By 2042

Some amazing projections were released by the U.S. Census Bureau this morning: by the year 2042, more than half of America's population will be made up of minority groups.

The projections, which chart the years 2008 through 2050, conclude that minorities will encompass 54 percent of the population by mid-century. Minority children, meanwhile, will hit 50 percent of the youth population by 2023.

Taken as a total, the minority population -- everyone except for non-Hispanic, single-race whites -- will be an estimated 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million by 2050.

The group spearheading that growth will be Hispanics, who will see their population numbers triple from 46.7 million to 132.8 million (roughly 30 percent of the population) over the next 42 years.

The Census Bureau projections provided some ominous economic and political warnings as well. The percentage of the population in the "working ages" (from 18 to 64) is expected to decline from 63 percent in 2008 to 57 percent in 2050. Meanwhile, by 2030, nearly one in five U.S. residents are likely to be 65 or older. The swelling of the Social Security roles will only accelerate: by 2050, that age group will increase to 88.5 million.