Nearly half of all white Americans believe that a nonwhite majority would "weaken" American customs and values, according to a study released Thursday.

The Pew Research Center poll found that 46 percent of white Americans surveyed said that if the majority of the population is made up of racial minorities by 2050, customs and values will weaken. A quarter of Hispanic respondents and 18 percent of black respondents also felt this way.


Twenty-three percent of white respondents, 40 percent of black respondents and 46 percent of Hispanic respondents said having a majority nonwhite population would strengthen the culture. Thirty percent of white respondents, 40 percent of black respondents and 27 percent of hispanic respondents said a shift would have little effect. 

The census predicted in findings issued in 2015 that the U.S. would have a majority-minority population before 2050. 

The Pew Research Center poll also found respondents to be generally pessimistic about America's future. A majority of respondents predicted that the U.S. will become less important in the world, that the divide between rich and poor will grow and that the country will become more politically divided over the next 30 years. 

The Pew Research Center surveyed 2,524 U.S. adults between Dec. 11 and Dec. 23. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.