Barack Obama, U.S. students President Barack Obama sits with pre-K students at Powell Elementary School in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2014. Photo: Reuters

For the first time in U.S. history, minorities are expected to outnumber white students in public schools starting this fall, say the federal Department of Education’s enrollment projections. The historic change will see 50.3 percent students of color, compared with 49.7 percent white students, according to National Center for Education Statistics data. The Pew Research Center linked the “majority-minority” change to the rapid rise of U.S.-born Hispanic and Asian school-aged children.

The Department of Education’s data projects the “majority-minority” gap will grow in the coming years, with an anticipated 54.7 percent minorities enrolling in U.S. public schools by 2022, compared with a projected 45.3 percent of whites.

While minorities are expected to become the majority within the U.S. public school system’s 500 million students comes this fall, Pew also found that the country’s private educational institutions have remained mostly white since 2009, despite rising minority birth rates.