Young People Lead North Carolina's More Diverse Look
New Census figures show increasing diversity in North Carolina, particularly among the youngest residents.
Almost half of the state’s children under five years old are minorities, according to population estimates from 2014. That’s just below the national average, says Rebecca Tippett, director of UNC's Carolina Demography.
“We’re seeing incredible diversity in the younger population," she says. "North Carolina in on its way to becoming majority-minority, much like the nation, although that’s going to occur a little bit later in our state than it is nationally.”
The numbers show a diversity gap between the state’s younger and older age groups. Whites make up 80 percent of North Carolinians 70 and older. But among kids under 16, that drops to 53 percent.
Tipplett says two trends explain the difference. North Carolina is an attractive area for retirees, who tend to be white. At the other end of the age spectrum there are more immigrant families with young children.