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More babies were born than people died in the United States from 2010 to 2014, marking a period of population growth across the country, according to new figures from the US Census.

The figures show Americans to be increasingly diverse. Fueled by the increasing diversity of younger generations, the percentage of ethnic and racial minorities in the country climbed 5 percentage points to 37.9 percent.

The yearly Census population estimates, which were released on Thursday, note changes in US population, grouped by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. In aggregate, they provide insight into the current state of the county’s demographics.

Here are three major findings from the most recent figures.


Minority-driven growth

According to researchers at the University of New Hampshire, minority population gains accounted for 95 percent of the US population increase.

For the first time, the majority — 50.2 percent — of Americans under the age of 5 were part of a racial or ethnic minority group.

The largest growth was among the Asian-American population, which increased by 3.2 percent from 2013 to 2014.

White Americans saw the smallest population uptick that year, growing only by about a half a percent. When looking at natural population increases — or the difference between the number of births and deaths — the white US population declined slightly in 2014.

This disparity, along with the continued immigration of nonwhite people to the United States, fueled the country’s growth in diversity, the University of New Hampshire report found.

Population growth estimates by race and ethnic group
Race/ethnic group Total population Population growth Percent increase
Asian-American 20.3 million 631,000 3.2%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 1.5 million 33,000 2.3%
Hispanic 55.4 million 1.2 million 2.1%
American Indian and Alaska Native 6.5 million 93,000 1.4%
African-American 45.7 million 578,000 1.3%
Non-Hispanic white 197.9 million 94,000 0.5%

The country’s growing diversity was seen at higher rates in some parts of the country. Four states — Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Texas — and the District of Columbia were majority-minority. Others, like Nevada, were nearing this mark.

Millennials: America’s largest generation

Millennials, or Americans born between 1982 and 2000, represented more than a quarter of the US population in 2014, outnumbering their parents’ generation, the baby boomers.


Millennials are also more diverse than previous generations, with 44 percent of their ranks belonging to a minority race or ethnic group.

Total number of members of generation in 2014
83.1 million
Baby Boomers
75.4 million
Globe Staff

An increasing number of retirees

While millennials are gaining their footing in the workforce, their parents’ generation is facing retirement.

The first four years of the baby boomer generation reached retirement age in 2014, joining the growing 65 and older segment of the US population.

American retirees are most densely located in Florida and Maine.

Catherine Cloutier can be reached at catherine.cloutier@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @cmcloutier.