America has crossed a landmark in its demographic make-up, presaging a monumental shift in the country's culture, politics and economics, with minority groups for the first time in US history accounting for more than half of all births.
New figures released by the US census bureau underline the changing face of the world's only superpower. They show that most children born between July 2010 and July 2011 belonged to ethnic or racial minorities, with Hispanic families driving the demographic growth.
Within that year, 1.98 million non-Hispanic white babies were born – just below half of the 4m total of births. The proportion of white births – 49.6% in that period – has never before fallen below the halfway mark since the advent of large-scale European immigration to the US.
The milestone has been a long time coming, with key demographic trends leading up to it for at least two decades. But the bare fact that American children under the age of one are now more likely numerically to be Hispanic, black or Asian than they are to be white still constitutes a moment of enormous significance.
[This should make some right wingers heads explode]