American white working class declining, could this help explain why?

The white working class is shrinking in America, and new research highlights other demographic trends that might help explain the pattern.

As previously reported by FOX Business, between 1989 and 2016 the number of white working-class families declined, along with their share of income and wealth – which was unique among the major socioeconomic groups.

While researchers at the St. Louis Federal Reserve pointed to the demographic’s loss of advantages it once enjoyed over the nonwhite working class over time as a possible explanation – new research suggests other factors might also be at play.

The most common age for whites in the U.S. was 58 last year, according to new data from the Pew Research Center, which is markedly older than other groups.

In fact, the most common age in the country in 2018 was 27.

For Hispanics, the most common age was 11, while it was 27 for blacks and 29 for Asians.

Whites were the largest group – constituting 60 percent of the U.S. population – but they also had the oldest median age of any racial or ethnic group (44 compared to the median of 38 for the U.S. population overall).

While many older Americans are working past traditional retirement age (65), the average age that Americans retire at is around 61.

Researchers attributed the findings in part to the post-World War II baby boom.

Whites were the only group where boomers made up a larger share than millennials.

While racial and ethnic minorities are increasing in population – up more than 1.27 million people year over year in 2018 – the white population is declining. Researchers expect the minority population to surpass whites within the next few decades.

The share of the older population (65 and older) that is white is expected to decline to 55 percent in 2060 – from 77 percent in 2018.


Meanwhile, there is another trend in the workforce that could be influencing data – a decline in participation among “prime-age” males. According to experts from Deutsche Bank Research, employment for men between the ages of 25 and 54 (considered prime age) has declined by about 100,000 jobs for each of the past three months.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly named the opioid crisis as a contributing factor to that pattern, which has disproportionately resulted in overdoses among whites when compared with blacks and Hispanics.

While whites skewed older than other groups – the entire country is aging.