A Changing Country

The United States population is getting more diverse, according to new data from the 2020 census that offers a once-in-a-decade look at the makeup of America.

Over the past 10 years, people who identified as Hispanic, Asian or more than one race accounted for larger shares of the population, the data shows. Diversity is rising in almost every county. The overall U.S. population, though, grew at the slowest rate in nearly a century.

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, described the data as “a pivotal moment for the country.”

“We have people of color who are younger and growing more rapidly,” he told The Times’s Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff. “They are helping to propel us further into a century where diversity is going to be the signature of our demography.”

Here are some takeaways from the new data.

New demographics

The share of people who identify as white has been declining since the 1960s, when the U.S. opened up more widely to immigrants from outside Europe. But over the past decade, the total number of white people fell for the first time.

The total population has grown at a drastically slower rate over the past decade. As David Leonhardt has explained in this newsletter, slower population growth can expand economic opportunities for women. But it also reflects American society’s failure to support families.

The growth that did occur since 2010 — an increase of about 23 million people — was made up entirely of people who identified as Hispanic, Asian, Black or more than one race. (These charts show where in the U.S. the changes were most pronounced.)

The multiracial category, added to the census only 20 years ago, is the fastest-growing group in the U.S. That could account for some of the decline of the white population, social scientists say; people of more than one race who previously chose white on the census form can now answer more accurately.

Fast-growing cities

The fastest-growing big city in the country is Phoenix, which surpassed Philadelphia as the fifth largest. Immigration, a tech boom and middle-class Californians seeking affordable housing all contributed to Phoenix’s growth, The Times’s Jack Healy explains.

The change in Phoenix reflects a trend: All 10 of the largest U.S. cities saw their populations rise in the past decade. Three big cities in Texas — Houston, San Antonio and Dallas — outpaced the national average.

New York City also grew by nearly 8 percent, defying predictions that its population was on the decline. The city now accounts for nearly 44 percent of the state’s total population.

The metro area that grew fastest since the last census, though, was not a major city; it was The Villages, America’s largest retirement community, located outside Orlando, Fla.

Political consequences

The new census data will launch an intense scramble to redraw districts for the House of Representatives, which states do once per decade. Legislatures control redistricting in most states and can draw gerrymandered congressional maps that advantage their party, which will help determine who will win control of the House in next year’s midterm elections.

The data was less favorable to Republicans than some experts expected, The Times’s Nate Cohn writes. Rural areas and white people’s share of the population shrank, while traditionally Democratic cities and increasingly Democratic suburbs grew.

But Republican-controlled legislatures will still get to redraw 187 maps, compared to Democrats’ 84. “The parties do not compete on a level playing field,” our colleague Nick Corasaniti, who covers politics, told us. “While it is still very early to fully grasp the impact” of the new data, “it is perhaps most important to remember who will be drawing the maps.”

For more:

The Times’s Emily Bazelon and Michael Wines detail how census officials rejected Donald Trump’s efforts to meddle with the count.

Georgia has seen a boom in ethnic and racial diversity.



The Taliban captured three more major cities, as the insurgents’ race to take control of the country accelerated.

U.S. officials say Kabul, the capital, could fall within 30 days.

The Pentagon is preparing possible evacuation of most U.S. citizens in Kabul. American negotiators have asked the Taliban to spare the U.S. Embassy.

The Virus

Indiana University can require students to be vaccinated, the Supreme Court ruled.

Separately, the Supreme Court blocked part of New York State’s eviction moratorium.

The largest U.S. teachers’ union says it supports vaccine mandates for educators. And Virginia will require masks in all K-12 schools.

San Francisco will bar unvaccinated people from indoor dining, concerts and other events.

See how a Delta outbreak might unfold in groups with different vaccination rates.

Other Big Stories

A gunman killed five people in England, the first mass shooting there since 2010.

The German authorities arrested a British Embassy employee on suspicion of spying for Russia.

Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York is leaving office, some legislators still want to impeach him.

Britney Spears’s father, Jamie Spears, said he would let someone else control his daughter’s conservatorship. (He gave no timeline for the change.)


Don’t let inflation anxiety scale back investments in America’s future, Paul Krugman writes.


Boy bands: Mirror, a group of 12 singers and dancers, has infused Hong Kong with joy.

Weight: What we think we know about our metabolisms may be wrong.

Social studies: The march of the Karens.

Modern Love: Maybe don’t trust an online quiz with your personal life.

Advice from Wirecutter: Inbox cluttered? Consider declaring “email bankruptcy.”

Lives Lived: John Rizzo permitted the secret detention and torture of suspected Islamic militants after the Sept. 11 attacks. He later second-guessed some of what the C.I.A. did under his watch. Rizzo died at 73.


Japan, after the Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics ended on a celebratory note, but the reality of life in Japan is different. Coronavirus infections are at a high, and just 36 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. We spoke with Motoko Rich, The Times’s Tokyo bureau chief, to get a sense of the post-Olympics mood.

What’s life like in Tokyo right now?

Motoko: There is a sense of cognitive dissonance. In the morning when I watch the news, commentators talk about an increasingly urgent sense of crisis. But the streets and trains are fairly busy. People are going to work in offices and eating lunch in restaurants, drinking coffee in cafes and shopping in stores, though nearly everyone wears a mask.

Polls found that the Japanese public did not support these Olympics at the start. Did people warm to them?

Once the Games started, public sentiment softened. During the Games, there were often lines at the five rings statue in front of the Olympic Stadium because people wanted to take commemorative photos. Crowds lined the routes of the long-distance cycling events and the marathon. There were still protests throughout the Games. But for many, it seems the drama of the Games diverted people’s attention away from their pre-Olympics anxiety. Sentiment was no doubt buoyed by the fact that Japan’s Olympic team delivered a great haul of medals.

What do you think will be the legacy of this year’s Games?

I am guessing there will be a reckoning for the entire Olympic movement about the cost and sacrifices of serving as a host city. An increasing number of countries are pulling out of bidding for the Games. And with both the likelihood of future pandemics and the reality of climate change hovering over everything we do, those forces are inevitably going to shape future Games.


What to Cook

Grilled mushroom skewers in red chile paste are crowd pleasers. Find more vegetarian recipes.

What to Read

Taylor Jenkins Reid, the author of “Daisy Jones & the Six” and “Malibu Rising,” taps into readers’ (and Hollywood’s) desire for escapism and complexity.

What to Plant

Your yard may be pretty, but is it ecologically sound? Here’s how to garden in a changing world.

Late Night

The hosts discussed the MyPillow C.E.O.

Take the News Quiz

How well did you follow the headlines this week? Take the News Quiz.

Now Time to Play

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was multilevel. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Capital of Norway (four letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you Monday.

P.S. The second season of “Modern Love,” the Prime Video series based on the popular Times column, premieres today. Watch the trailer.

Here’s today’s print front page.

“The Daily” is about the U.N. climate report. On “The Ezra Klein Show,” the political scientist Lilliana Mason discusses polarization. And two Times journalists unpack the “Bennifer” obsession.

Claire Moses, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Remy Tumin, Tom Wright-Piersanti, Ashley Wu and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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