Census shows US is diversifying, white population shrinking

The Census Bureau on Thursday issued its most detailed portrait yet of how the U.S. has changed over the past decade, releasing a trove of demographic data that will be used to redraw political maps across an increasingly diverse country.

The census figures have been eagerly awaited by states, and they are sure to set off an intense partisan battle over representation at a time of deep national division and fights over voting rights. The numbers could help determine control of the U.S. House in the 2022 elections and provide an electoral edge for the next 10 years. The data will also shape how $1.5 trillion in federal spending is distributed each year.

The figures show continued migration to the South and Southwest and population losses in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia. The numbers also indicate that the white population is aging and has fallen to its smallest share of the total population on record. The population under age 18 is increasingly diverse.

The figures were supposed to be released by the end of March, but that deadline was pushed back because of delays from the pandemic.

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