MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) — According to Northwestern University's researchers, white Americans feel uncomfortable with the prospect of becoming a racial minority, as scientists predict that the number of white Americans will decrease to 43 percent of the total population in 2060.
"Our population is becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Each of these shifts would by itself be the defining demographic story of its era. The fact that both are unfolding simultaneously has generated big generation gaps that will put stress on our politics, families, pocketbooks, entitlement programs and social cohesion," states Pew's "The Next America" study.
According to a research conducted by the Census Bureau and the University of Minnesota, about 6.2 percent of 2010 census respondents identified themselves as "some other race." And 6.2 percent "isn’t insignificant: it translates to millions of Americans whose race or ethnicity data are essentially unknown to the US government," noted TIME magazine.
A research published by the Pew Research Center earlier this year has shown that the so-called "racial minority" will soon become the majority of the US population.
According to separate surveys, conducted by the Northwestern University's researchers, white Americans feel uncomfortable with the prospective of becoming a racial minority. Sociologists warn against the "deepening divide between whites and other racial groups," the Huffington Post reports, adding that the growing racial diversity will become a serious test for the United States.
Meanwhile, about 10 million Americans altered their racial or ethnical self-identification, according to the research.
Sociologists believe that race and ethnic groups "are not inherent divisions of society" and people may change their views regarding racial self-identification. Their choice may be influenced by numerous factors, for instance, political regime, religious views, some special intergroup relations or personal interaction.
""Our results have the potential to shift understandings of how people experience and navigate race in our society <...> The results also have consequential implications for social scientists who take into account race and/or ethnicity yet rely on the implicit assumption that these are life-long, immutable characteristics," claimed the researchers after examining confidential data from census surveys, conducted in 2000 and 2010.
The study has found that white, black and Asian identities remained unchanged, while Hispanic, American Indians, Alaska natives and Pacific Islanders were likely to switch from one group to another.