Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Physiology and Clinical Symptoms of Menopause

Gloria Richard-Davis, MD, FACOG; Melissa Wellons, MD


Semin Reprod Med. 2013;31(5):380-386. 

In This Article

US Population

In the past decade, the number of non-Caucasian women and the numbers of women older than 45 years have dramatically increased. According to the US 2010 census, 72% of our population is white, leaving 28% identifying themselves as minorities. More than one-third (39%) of women in the United States are peri or menopausal ages. This is the fastest growing segment of our population, with a 31% increase in the age group of 45 to 64 years and 15% growth in the age group of 65 years and older. Women account for 51% of the 310 million people in the United States, with approximately 112 million of these nearly 160 million women being 45 years or older. Eighty-one million are 45 to 64 years of age and 40 million are 65 and older.

The numbers of minority women have also markedly expanded. In 2010, there were 50 million Hispanics in the United States, an increase of 43% from 2000 to 2010. The non-Hispanic population grew at 5% and the white-only population increased by 1%. The South (34%) and West (41%) had the greatest percentage of minority population compared with the Midwest (19%) and northeast (27%). Texas, California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, and New Mexico have a "majority-minority" population (US 2010 Census). Clearly, based on these demographical changes, the minority peri and menopausal population appears to be rapidly growing. These women will need individualized care and management of their menopausal issues.