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California is Now More Brown than White

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Created: 17 August, 2021
Updated: 26 July, 2022
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2 min read

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By Sandra G. Leon

New 2020 Census data shows that the Hispanic/Latino population in California now outnumbers the White population for the first time in modern history, with Latinos accounting for nearly 40% of the state population.

The Hispanic or Latino community in California, which now numbers over 15.6 million, represents 39.4% of Californians — a jump from 37.6% just ten years ago, while the population identifying as White alone declined from 40.1% to 34.7% during the same period. The state’s non-Hispanic White population was about 78% in 1970.

The number of Hispanics in California grew by about 1.6 million, or 11%, nearly twice that of the overall statewide population growth rate of 6%

California’s Asian population increased by 1.2 million, or 25%, to about 6 million and the state’s Black population decreased by about 2% to about 2.1 million residents.

Although the State has had a majority minority population since the 2000 census count, Whites still outnumbered Latinos until the last ten years as the population gains within minority communities accelerated.

The state’s overall population increased by 2.3 million residents during the past 10 years with small rural counties seeing the largest percentage increases. Although Los Angeles County only experienced a 2% population growth since 2010, the highest growth in numerical terms was in Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Alameda counties.

Population growth throughout the US in the past 10 years was driven exclusively by increases in Latino, Asian, Black, and Multiethnic communities, while the total number of residents claiming their ethnicity as White alone has decreased.

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In the US as a whole, the population of White alone remains the largest ethnicity group with 204.3 million people, but that population saw a decrease of 8.6% between the 2010 and 2020 census counts.

The city in the United States with the highest majority Hispanic population is San Antonio, Texas, with 807,000 Hispanics totaling more than 61% of the City’s population.

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