COMPONENTS & DISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL POPULATION CHANGE:
2000-2010 and PROJECTIONS TO 2050

(excerpted from Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010. Census Briefs March 2011 and A More Diverse Nation by Mid-Century. U. S. Census Bureau News, Release: Thursday August 14, 2008 and December 16, 2009)

1. More than half of the growth in the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010 was due to the increase in the Hispanic population.

In 2010, there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, composing 16 percent of the total population. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic popu­lation grew by 43 percent—rising from 35.3 million in 2000, when this group made up 13 percent of the total population. The Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010, accounting for over half of the 27.3 million increase in the total popula­tion of the United States.

The non-Hispanic population grew relatively slower over the decade, about 5 percent. Within the non- Hispanic population, the number of people who reported their race as White alone grew even slower between 2000 and 2010 (1 per­cent). While the non-Hispanic White alone population increased numeri­cally from 194.6 million to 196.8 million over the 10-year period, its proportion of the total population declined from 69 to 64 percent.

In the 2010 Census, just over one-third of the U.S. population reported their race and ethnicity as something other than non-Hispanic White alone. This group, referred to as the “minority” population for this report, increased from 86.9 million to 111.9 million between 2000 and 2010. This repre­sented a growth of 29 percent over the decade. The non-Hispanic White alone population also grew over the decade, from 194.6 million to 196.8 million; however, growth was relatively slow for this population (1 percent).

Projection to 2050: It is reasonable to still expect the Hispanic population to grow from 50.5 million to 132.8 million by 2050. By then, its share of the nation’s total population is projected to double, from 16 percent to 30 percent. Thus, nearly one in three U.S. residents would be Hispanic.

2. The Asian population grew at faster rate than any other.

In the United States, all major race groups increased in population size between 2000 and 2010, but grew at different rates. Over the decade, the Asian alone popula­tion experienced the fastest rate of growth and the White alone popula­tion experienced the slowest rate of growth, with the other major race groups’ growth spanning the range in between. Of the 27.3 million people added to the total population of the United States between 2000 and 2010, the White alone population made up just under half of the growth—increas­ing 12.1 million. Within the White alone population, the vast majority of the growth was propelled by the Hispanic population.

The Asian alone population increased by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010, more than any other major race group. The Asian alone population had the second-largest numeric change (4.4 mil­lion), growing from 10.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2010. The Asian alone population gained the most in share of the total popu­lation, moving up from about 4 percent in 2000 to about 5 percent in 2010.

Projection to 2050: The Asian population is projected to climb from 15.5 million to 40.6 million. Its share of the nation’s population is expected to rise from 5.1 percent to 9.2 percent.

3. African American population

While the Black alone popula­tion had the third-largest numeric increase in population size over the decade (4.3 million), behind the White alone and Asian alone popu­lations, it grew slower than most other major race groups. In fact, the Black alone population exhib­ited the smallest percentage growth outside of the White alone popula­tion, increasing 12 percent between 2000 and 2010. This population rose from 34.7 million in 2000 to 38.9 million in 2010, making up 12 percent and 13 percent of the total population, respectively.

Projection to 2050: The black population is projected to increase from 38.9 million, or 13 percent of the population in 2010, to 65.7 million, or 15 percent in 2050.

4. Non-Hispanic White alone population

The only major race group to experience a decrease in its propor­tion of the total population was the White alone population. While this group increased the most numeri­cally between decennial censuses (211.5 million to 223.6 million), its share of the total population fell from 75 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2010.

Projection to 2050: The non-Hispanic, single-race white population is projected to be only slightly larger in 2050 than in 2010 and comprise 46 percent of the total population then compared to 64 percent in 2010.

5. Nearly half of the West region’s population was minority

In the four census regions, the pro­portion of the total population that was minority (proportion minority) ranged from about one-fifth to just under one-half of the total popula­tion in 20101. The minority popu­lation numbered 33.9 million (47 percent) in the West, 45.8 million (40 percent) in the South, and 17.3 million (31 percent) in the Northeast. In the Midwest, the minority population was 14.8 mil­lion and made up 22 percent of the total population.

The minority population grew in every region between 2000 and 2010, but most significantly in the South and West. The South experi­enced growth of 34 percent in its minority population. Similar growth occurred in the West, with the minority population increasing by 29 percent. The non-Hispanic White alone population also grew in the South and West between the two decennial censuses, but at a slower rate (4 percent and 3 percent, respectively).

The minority population in the Northeast and Midwest experienced considerable growth between 2000 and 2010. The minority population grew by 21 percent in the Northeast, and the Midwest minority population grew 24 per­cent. In contrast, the non-Hispanic White alone population in both of these regions declined since 2000 (–3 percent in the Northeast and –1 percent in the Midwest).

6. California had the largest minority population in 2010

In 2010, the states with the largest minority populations frequently also had the largest non-Hispanic White alone popula­tions. California led the nation with the largest minority population (22.3 million). Texas (13.7 million), New York (8.1 million), Florida (7.9 million), and Illinois (4.7 million) round out the top five states with the largest minority populations. Most of these states also had the largest non-Hispanic White alone populations—California with 15.0 million, Texas with 11.4 million, New York with 11.3 million, and Florida with 10.9 million. The state with the fifth-largest non-Hispanic White alone population in 2010 was Pennsylvania (10.1 million).

Footnotes:

1. The Northeast census region includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Midwest census region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The South census region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The West census region includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. South and West between the two decennial censuses, but at a slower rate (4 percent and 3 percent, respectively

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