06.13.1310:43 AM ET

Deaths Outnumber Births for White Americans

For first time in at least 100 years.

Cue the conservative demographic panic: for the first time in at least 100 years, there are more deaths than births among non-Hispanic white Americans. The disparity, which showed up in new Census data, “surprised experts,” reports The New York Times. “They expected that the aging white population would eventually shrink, as it has done in many European countries, but not for another decade or so.” Behind it is a dramatic decline in the number of non-Hispanic white births—1.9 million in 2012, down 13.3 percent from five years earlier. The majority of births in the United States are now to black, Hispanic, and Asian mothers. “These new Census estimates are an early signal alerting us to the impending decline in the white population that will characterize most of the 21st century,” William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer, told the Times.