Nearly one in every 10 of the nation’s
3,141 counties has a population that is more than 50 percent minority. In
2006, eight counties that had not previously been majority-minority pushed
the national total to 303, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today.
The two largest counties passing this threshold
between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, are Denver County, Colo., and East
Baton Rouge Parish, La., with total populations of 566,974 and 429,073, respectively.
Three other counties were in Texas (Winkler, Waller and Wharton), with one
each in Montana (Blaine), New Mexico (Colfax) and Virginia (Manassas Park,
an independent city and considered a county equivalent).
Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest
minority population in the country in 2006. At 7 million, or 71 percent of
its total, Los Angeles County is home to one in every 14 of the nation’s
minority residents. The county’s minority population is higher than
the total population of 38 states, with the largest population of Hispanics,
Asians, and American Indians and Alaska Natives in the country. It also has
the second largest population of blacks and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific
Harris County, Texas, gained 121,400 minority
residents between 2005 and 2006, which led the nation. Harris (Houston is
its largest city) now has a minority population of 2.5 million, comprising
63 percent of its total. Its minority population ranks third nationally, not
far behind second place Cook County, Ill. (Chicago).
Based on total population, Starr County, Texas,
located on the Mexican border, had the highest proportion of all counties
that was minority, at 98 percent. Among the nation’s 25 most populous
counties, Miami-Dade County, Fla., had the highest proportion minority, at
Highlights for the various groups:
- Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population
(4.7 million) in 2006, followed by Harris County, Texas, and Miami-Dade
(1.5 million each). (See table Excel | PDF.)
- Maricopa County, Ariz. (home of Phoenix), had the biggest
numerical increase in the Hispanic population (71,000) since July 2005,
followed by Harris County, Texas (63,000).
- Starr County, Texas had the highest Hispanic proportion
of its total population in 2006, at 97 percent. In fact, each of the 11
counties with the highest Hispanic proportion of its total population was
- Cook County had the largest black population (1.4 million)
in July 2006, followed by Los Angeles County (1 million).
- Harris County had the largest numerical increase (52,000)
between 2005 and 2006, with East Baton Rouge Parish next (19,000).
- Claiborne County, Miss., had a population that was 85 percent
black in 2006, which led the nation. All 50 counties with the highest percentage
black population were in the South.
- Los Angeles County had the largest Asian population (1.4
million) in 2006, with Santa Clara County, Calif. (home of San Jose) the
- Santa Clara County had the largest numerical increase (17,600)
from 2005 to 2006, followed by Los Angeles (15,700).
- Honolulu County, Hawaii, led the nation with a population
that was 59 percent Asian. One other county – Kauai, Hawaii –
was also majority Asian. San Francisco County, Calif., led the continental
United States, with 34 percent of its population Asian.
American Indian and Alaska Native
- Los Angeles County had the largest population of American
Indians and Alaska Natives in 2006 (150,000) with Maricopa County, Ariz.,
ranking second (95,000).
- Maricopa County had the largest numerical increase between
2005 and 2006 (3,700), followed by Riverside County, Calif. (1,600).
- Shannon County, South Dakota led the country in 2006, with
88 percent of its total population of 13,800 being a member of this group
in 2006. Shannon was first of 10 counties/county equivalents that were majority
American Indian and Alaska Native.
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
- Honolulu County had the largest population of this race
(177,000) in 2006, with Los Angeles County (59,000) second.
- Hawaii County, Hawaii and Clark County, Nev. (home of Las
Vegas) had the largest numerical increases in this race since July 2005,
Non-Hispanic White Alone
- Los Angeles County had a nation-leading 2.9 million residents
who were part of this group in 2006, with Cook, Ill., second at 2.4 million.
- The largest numerical increase from 2005 to 2006 belonged
to Maricopa County, Ariz. (35,500). Wake, N.C. (home of Raleigh), ranked
second, gaining 18,700.
- Magoffin County, Kentucky, with an estimated 13,400 total
residents, and Mitchell County, Iowa, with an estimated 10,900 total residents,
led the nation with 98.9 percent of their population being non-Hispanic
white alone in 2006.
Tabulations by age released today showed:
- The 10 counties with the highest proportion of people 65
and older is dominated by Florida which contributed four counties to the
list, led by Charlotte County at 31.2 percent.
- Georgia, Alaska and Colorado combined accounted for seven
of the 10 counties with the lowest proportion of people 65 and older. Chattahoochee
County, Ga. — home of the Army’s Fort Benning — had the
lowest percentage in the country at 2.6 percent.
- Seven of the 10 counties with the highest proportion of
their population younger than 5 were in Texas, South Dakota or Utah. Webb
County, Texas (home of Laredo), topped the list at 13.1 percent.
The minority population is defined as anyone who indicated that they were either Hispanic or a race other than white alone. The percent rankings
for race, Hispanic origin, and age are based on counties with population in
2006 of 10,000 or more in 2006.
Unless otherwise specified, the data refer to the population who
reported a race alone or in combination with one or more other races. The
detailed tables show data for both this group and those who reported a single
race only. Censuses and surveys permit respondents to select more than one
race; consequently, people may be one race or a combination of races. Hispanics
may be any race.
The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate
and distinct concepts. In surveys and censuses, separate questions are asked
on Hispanic origin and race. The question on Hispanic origin asks respondents
if they are Spanish, Hispanic or Latino. Starting with Census 2000, the question
on race asked respondents to report the race or races they consider themselves
to be. Thus, Hispanics may be of any race. (See U.S. Census Bureau Guidance
on the Presentation and Comparison of Race and Hispanic Origin Data.)
More detailed information on race and Hispanic origin can be found at <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/compraceho.html>.