When White American Deaths Outnumber Births

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 (The Root) -- According to demographers, more white Americans died last year than were born -- the first time this has occurred in the history of the nation. Even more surprising, the shrinking of the white population has begun more rapidly than previously predicted.

The decline of America's white population is being fueled by a variety of factors, among them that white women are having fewer children, and at later ages than other racial groups, and the immigrant population is increasing. But perhaps even more interesting than the numbers themselves is the impact they are likely to have on American society.

One of the most significant ways will be on politics. The 2012 presidential election gave a glimpse into how the American electorate is changing. Gov. Mitt Romney's supporters skewed older and whiter, while President Obama won handily among Asian and Latino voters and nearly swept African-American voters. Political analyst Charlie Cook broke down the numbers as follows:

The white share of the vote in presidential elections has dropped 15 points over the past six elections, from 87 percent in 1992 to 72 percent in 2012. This trend has little to do with Barack Obama, the nation's first African-American president. The declines from one presidential election to the next have been consistent: a 4-point drop from 1992 to 1996, 2 more points in 2000, 4 additional points in 2004, 3 points in 2008, and 2 points last year.

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