White pupils in state schools in the United States are set to be in the minority for the first time when schools return for the new term.
According to official forecasts, enrollments for the 2014-15 school year will mark the threshold when ethnic minorities become the majority.
This demographic shift has been driven by rising numbers of Hispanic pupils.
Figures are gathered by the US Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
It records the number of pupils in the state school system across the United States – and it publishes forecasts of enrollments in the years ahead.
The figures show a steady decline in the numbers of white pupils since the mid-1990s and a broadly stable number of black pupils, but a sharply rising number of pupils identified as Hispanic.
The school figures show the number of Hispanic pupils has more than doubled over the past two decades and is projected to continue rising in the next decade.
It means that in autumn 2014 the proportion of white pupils is expected to have fallen marginally below 50% for the first time, with about 26% of pupils Hispanic and 15% black.
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SOURCE: BBC News – Sean Coughlan