2010 Census Results Show Increasingly Hispanic Populations in Every State
March 22 2011
By: Eric Rodriguez
The results are in and the face of America is changing. Recently released data collected by the United States Census Bureau shows that even in some surprising areas, such as Utah, Latinos are the driving force behind population growth.
“Four out of ten new Utah people from 2000 to 2010 are minorities,” Pamela Perlich, senior research economist at the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, told USA Today. “There’s a wave of diversity sweeping across the state.”
As other states continue to release their results from the 2010 Census, these statistics show that this wave of diversity is actually sweeping across the entire nation. In many states with relatively small Hispanic communities such as Tennessee, Mississippi, and South Dakota, Hispanic populations have increased more than 100% over the past ten years. Meanwhile, states already home to sizable Latino communities, such as Texas, New Mexico, and Nevada, have maintained steady growth. For example, Hispanics in Texas account for almost two-thirds of the population growth in the past decade and close to 38% of the overall population.
“The Texas of today is the U.S. of tomorrow,” Steve Murdock, a former Census Bureau director who currently teaches sociology at Rice University, told USA Today.
Although migration has certainly contributed to the increase, Murdock says that the Hispanic population growth in Texas has primarily been fueled by births among families already living in the United States. In fact, more than nine out of ten Latinos in the country under age 18 are U.S. citizens.
This boom in Hispanic youth is also fueling population growth in California, the most populous state in the country. Although it is overall one of the slowest growing states, California saw its Latino population grow almost 28%, meaning that the number of Hispanics and whites in the state are almost equal. That balance won’t last long because more than half of Californians under 18 are Hispanic. Coupled with growth in the Asian community, these figures suggest that the Golden State is on its way to becoming minority-majority.
This growth also helps spread diversity outside of urban centers. The New York Times recently reported that suburban towns have seen the largest population gains within the country and that many new residents are Latino.
“Living in the suburbs used to mean white family, two kids, a TV, a garage, and a dog,” Kenneth M. Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire, told the New York Times. “Now suburbia is a microcosm of America. It’s multiethnic and multiracial. It tells you where America is going.”
Growth among Hispanics, and in diversity overall, appears to be a trend that will continue. Many states besides California are also seeing a demographic shift in their younger populations, which now include more Hispanics. This could prove useful, especially as more Latinos enter the workforce. It is projected that by 2050 the percentage of our nation’s workforce made up of Latinos will more than double to 33%.
For states such as Florida that were hit hard by the recession and the housing meltdown, Latinos and other minorities were a saving grace during this census period. Their numbers earlier in the decade helped to balance out the reduced growth later on.
“If it weren’t for Hispanics and blacks, Florida would’ve had a truly disastrous decade,” William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings institution, told USA Today.
Seven states, including New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and West Virginia, are still waiting to release their census findings. Based on the numbers so far, even more growth in the Hispanic population seems likely.
Continue checking this blog for more updates and commentary about the 2010 Census findings in the coming weeks.
Geography:California, Far West, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Texas