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Elizabeth Grieco


Census 2000 Analysis Shows White Population Still Largest

The White population remained the largest racial group in 2000, even as the country moved toward greater diversity, a new analysis released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau showed. Nearly 217 million people, or 77.1 percent of the total population, reported as White, either alone or in combination with one or more other races.

This analysis, The White Population: 2000, one in a series of Census 2000 briefs, showed that people reporting as White were the numeric majority in all states but Hawaii. The Midwest was the region with the highest proportion of those reporting as White (85 percent).

Other highlights:

Whites by region

  • According to Census 2000, the majority of those people reporting as White were living in the South (34 percent) and the Midwest (25 percent). The West had 21 percent and the remaining 20 percent lived in the Northeast.
  • The regions with the highest proportions of people reporting as White in their total populations were the Midwest with 85 percent and the Northeast with 79 percent, followed by the West with 74 percent and the South with 72 percent.

Whites by state

  • More than half (52 percent) of all people reporting as White lived in 10 states: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and North Carolina. These also were the 10 states with the largest total populations among states.
  • There were eight states where people reporting as White represented less than 70 percent of the population, including Hawaii, Mississippi, California, Louisiana, Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina and New Mexico. About one-third (32 percent) of all respondents in the District of Columbia reported as White.

Whites by county

  • The majority of counties throughout the country had a high percentage of people reporting as White, but people reporting as White were most prevalent in counties across the northern half of the country.
  • Counties with lower percentages of people reporting as White than the percentage for the country as a whole were concentrated in the lowland and coastal South. This band of counties extended from east Texas through Louisiana and southern Arkansas, across Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, then northward through the Piedmont and coastal portions of the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.
  • Additional counties with lower percentages reporting White were found in large metropolitan areas, such as Chicago (Cook County), Detroit (Wayne County), Kansas City, Mo., (Jackson County, Mo., and Wyandotte County, Kan.) and Miami (Miami-Dade County).

Whites by place

  • New York City had the largest number of people reporting as White with more than 3.8 million. Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston each had between 1 million and 2 million. These places also were the four with the largest total populations.
  • Among places with populations of 100,000 or more, Livonia, Mich., had the highest proportion of people reporting as White (97 percent). Of the 10 places with the highest proportion of people who reported as White, all had more than 93 percent.

Census 2000 data on race are not directly comparable with data from the 1990 census or earlier censuses because in 2000, for the first time, respondents could report more than one race.

Additional Census 2000 briefs will be released over the next several months on other races and on topics such as age, sex and housing. A listing of Census 2000 briefs can be found on the Census Bureau's Web site at

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | | Last Revised: September 09, 2014