The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday released a new batch of data from the 2020 Census to be used for the purposes of congressional redistricting, and it contains the first data on race and ethnicity to be released so far.
The major headline to come out of the data is that America is, by all measures, growing more diverse, and the proportion of white people in the country continues to decline. Also, the latest census finds that many more Americans identify as mixed race than in previous counts, and the country's Hispanic and Asian populations have grown significantly in the last decade.
“Our analysis of the 2020 Census results show that the U.S. population is much more multiracial and more racially and ethnically diverse than what we have measured in the past,” said Nicholas Jones, director of race and ethnicity outreach for the Census Bureau’s population division, in a statement.
We learned back in April that California is losing a seat in the House of Representatives for the first time ever due to slowing population growth, though the state was among the top three to see the most population growth, along with Texas and Florida. California did not see population growth as fast as some other states since 2010 — Texas was among the five fastest growing states, along with Utah, Idaho, North Dakota, and Nevada.
Phoenix continues to grow and is now officially the country's fifth largest city, pushing Philadelphia down to sixth place.
As the New York Times notes from the data, nearly one in four Americans now identifies as either Hispanic or Asian. And while the country grew by 23 million people in the last decade — the slowest rate of growth on record between censuses — almost all of that growth was in the Hispanic, Asian, Black, and mixed race populations. The number of people who identified as more than one race more than doubled, in part due to changes in how the Census asks its questions.
"This is a pivotal moment for the country in terms of its diversity,” says William Frey, chief demographer at the Brookings Institution, speaking to the Times. "Part of our population is aging and slow growing. To counter that, we have people of color who are younger and growing more rapidly. They are helping to propel us further into a century where diversity is going to be the signature of our demography."
As the Sacramento Bee reports, California's Latino population grew by 1.6 million people in the last decade, to 15.6 million, a growth rate of 11% — much higher than the state's overall 6% rate of growth. The number of Asian residents in California grew by 1.2 million to around 6 million, a growth rate of 25% in the last decade.
The number of Black residents in California fell by about 2%, to 2.1 million. And the number of white people in the state also declined by 1.2 million or 8.3%, to 13.7 million.
It's not yet clear if the new data will result in any significant redistricting around the Bay Area. As the LA Times reports, the new numbers are likely to result in the redrawing of Democratic Rep. Katie Porter's district in Orange County, as well as the likely disappearance of one district in Los Angeles County. The LA Times surmises that a non-partisan redistricting panel will have to convene to make the call for where the lost district will come from, and it may end up being a swing district around Santa Clarita currently repped by Republican Mike Garcia.
Update: Some breakdowns for the Bay Area come to us via the Chronicle, and we learn that the Bay Area actually saw faster population growth over the last decade of the tech boom than California or the U.S. The nine-county region grew by 614,901 or 8.6% to 7.7 million, driven largely by new Latino and Asian residents.
The Bay Area's demographics are changing fast, and over the next several days the @sfchronicle will be soaked with data and charts about how.— Dan Kopf (@dkopf) August 12, 2021
Here is our first look at what the 2020 decennial census tells us about our communityhttps://t.co/zcDKhKyC6t pic.twitter.com/yK8lH6Ft7S
Much as in other parts of the state, the share of white people in the population fell across the Bay Area, with Contra Costa County seeing the biggest drop from 47.7% in 2010 to 39% last year.
San Francisco's white population fell by just 2.8%, and the number of people who identify as two or more races grew from 3% to 5%, per the Chronicle. SF's total population grew by 8.5% over the course of the decade, to 873,965 in 2020 — that marks 1,000 fewer people than the Census Bureau's last estimate of the city's population in 2019, which was 874,961, but it's hard to know how the first months of the pandemic may have impacted the count. Still, that is almost 90,000 more people than lived in the city a decade ago.
Dublin was the fastest growing city in the Bay Area, growing by almost 58% over the last decade to 72,600.
Updates to come as needed.
Photo: Enayet Raheem