Census reveals the changing face of America: More Asians, Latinos, blacks

March 11, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

As the nation's Asian population more than doubled and the Latino population grew by more than 50 percent, the white population declined by almost 3 percent as a percentage of the whole, according to figures released Sunday by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the same period, the American Indian population grew by nearly 38 percent and the black population grew by just over 13 percent.

For the first time since the turn of the century, the census bureau has reported, there are more black people living in the southern United States -- just under 53 percent -- than in the rest of the

country. However, New York has the largest black population and California the second largest.

Oklahoma, the site of forced resettlement of several tribes during the 19th century, continues to have the largest American Indian population.

Of the nation's total population of 248,709,873, 80.3 percent is white. That is down from 83.1 percent in 1980. At the same time, the black population is 12.1 percent, up from 11.7 in 1980; the Latino population has grown from 6.4 percent to 9 percent; and the Asian population has increased from 1.5 percent 2.9 percent. The American Indian population has grown from 0.6 percent to 0.8 percent.

The census figures show that the Latino population is catching up with the black population. In 1980, there were 26.5 million black people and 14.6 million Latinos. Today there are just under 30 million blacks and 22.3 million Latinos.

Overall population growth was greatest in Nevada (50.1 percent), followed by Alaska (36.9 percent), South Carolina (34.8 percent), Florida (32.7 percent) and California (25.7 percent).

In percentage terms, New Mexico has the largest share of Latinos, 38.2. California is second with 25.8 percent.

Hawaii has the largest Asian population, 61.8 percent, while California is second, with 9.6 percent. The District of Columbia has a black population of 65.8 percent. Among states, Mississippi has the highest concentration of black residents, with 35.6 percent, followed by Louisiana, with 30.8 percent.

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