Census Bureau

One of traditional radio’s most engaged audiences — U.S. Hispanics — is seeing a population boom, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report finds the number of people of Hispanic descent in the U.S. increased by 10 million (or 20%) during the last decade. The median age among that demographic is 29.8. The Census Bureau says that figure is on the rise, indicating that fertility rates are slowing down across racial and ethnic lines.

According to a Nielsen report from last year, radio’s weekly reach of Hispanic audiences has climbed steadily since 2015, from 40.3 million to 43.2 million last year. The same report says Hispanics comprised 17.4% of the national radio audience. In fact, radio reaches more Hispanic consumers (96% of those 18+) than any other medium, including television (85%), smartphones (86%) and TV-connected devices (57%).

“The nation is becoming more diverse, especially among the young,” William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, says in the Census Bureau’s report.

One component of the increasing diversity is stagnating fertility rates that are slowing overall population growth. The Census Bureau says America’s population is now 60.1% white. That’s the lowest level ever recorded.

And among those who are under the age of 16, fewer than half are white — an indicator that white Americans are having fewer children and doing so later in life.

Among those Americans under the age of 25, the trend is even more pronounced. There are currently some 4.7 million fewer white Americans in that group than in 2010, and 3.1 million more minorities than nine years ago.

The Census Bureau says the only age group where whites are growing as a share of the population is among senior citizens as baby boomers enter retirement. Those 65 and older have grown by more than a third since 2010.

“The first Baby Boomers reached 65 years old in 2011,” said Luke Rogers, chief of the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Branch. “Since then, there’s been a rapid increase in the size of the 65-and-older population.”

Asian-Americans, meanwhile, comprise the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population over the last decade. That total has grown to 22.8 million, an increase of 29%.

Growth rates have slowed down across racial groups. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the national birthrate reached its lowest level in two generations. Just 3.7 million children were born in 2018. That’s the lowest total number of births since 1985.