California records high minority growth Hispanic, Asian populations increased rapidly since 1990

September 04, 1998|By COX NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- California led the nation in the growth of state Hispanic and Asian-American populations since 1990, while Florida had the largest black population increase, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.

California saw an increase of 2.2 million Hispanics and nearly 830,000 Asians and Pacific Islanders between 1990 and 1997.

Florida's black population increased by 480,255 people between and 1997, a 27.1 percent gain. That was twice as fast as the state's total population growth of 13.3 percent, to 14.6 million residents.

Nationwide, New York had the largest black population with 3.2 million, while California had the largest Hispanic population, 9.9 million.

The District of Columbia had the highest percentage (63 percent) of black residents among state or state equivalents, while New Mexico had the highest percentage (40 percent) of Hispanic residents.

The annual Census Bureau report is based on population estimates, said Larry Sink, a bureau statistician who compiled the report.

The estimates factor in birth and death statistics and are cross-referenced with racial data supplied by the Social Security Administration and migration data supplied by the Internal Revenue Service, he said.

Among counties, Harris County (Houston), Texas, gained the most black residents, 73,293, while Los Angeles County, Calif., gained the most Hispanic residents, 649,404.

Cook County, Ill., had the largest black population among counties at 1.4 million, while Los Angeles County had the most Hispanics, 4.0 million.

The county with the highest proportion of black residents was Jefferson County, Miss., with 87 percent, while Starr County, Texas, had the highest share of Hispanics, 98 percent.

Stan Smith, director of the University of Florida's bureau of economic and business research, attributed the increase in Florida's black population to several factors, including:

The state's overall rapid growth.

A higher birth rate among the black population than the white population.

Social, political and economic changes that have made the South in general a more attractive place for blacks to live than in the past.

"Blacks are increasingly in the migration stream [to Florida], whereas 40 or 50 years ago -- or even 30 years ago -- they were not well represented," Smith said.

While some of the increase in Florida's black population could be attributed to immigration from the Caribbean -- particularly Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic -- the Census Bureau's Sink said the great majority of new black residents to the state come from elsewhere in the United States.

For more information on the Internet:

Full Census Bureau report: http: //www.census.gov/population/www/ estimates/statepop.html

County data: http: //www.census.gov/population/www/ , estimates/countypop.html

Pub Date: 9/04/98

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