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CB08-120

Contact:  Robert Bernstein
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Aug. 7, 2008 (THURSDAY)

La Paz, Ariz., Population is Nation's Oldest County

     La Paz County, Ariz. — located on the California border and home to the Colorado River Indian Reservation — has the country’s oldest population, according to U.S. Census Bureau county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin released today. Webb County (Laredo), Texas — on the Mexican border in the southern part of the state — has the country’s youngest population, with children younger than 5 comprising 12.8 percent.

     La Paz — with 32 percent of its population 65 or older on July 1, 2007 — led 24 counties with at least one-quarter of their populations 65 or older. Nine of these counties were in Florida, with four in Texas and three in Michigan.

     Meanwhile, 302 counties, or nearly one in every 10, are “majority-minority” — meaning the county had a population with more than 50 percent minority residents.

     Among the majority-minority counties with a minority population of 1 million or more were Bronx, N.Y.; Miami-Dade, Fla.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Queens, N.Y.; Bexar (San Antonio) and Dallas, Texas; San Bernardino, Calif.; Kings (Brooklyn), N.Y.; Harris (Houston), Texas; Santa Clara (San Jose) and Riverside, Calif.; Cook (Chicago), Ill.; and Orange, Calif.

     Los Angeles County had the largest minority population in the country in 2007. At 7 million, or 71 percent of its total, Los Angeles County was home to one in every 14 of the nation’s minority residents. The county’s minority population was higher than the total population of all but 12 states.

     Maricopa County, Ariz., gained 79,000 minority residents between 2006 and 2007, to lead the nation. Maricopa (Phoenix is its largest city) now has a minority population of 1.6 million, comprising 41 percent of its total. Its minority population ranks seventh nationally.

     Based on total population, Starr County in south Texas had the highest proportion of minorities of all counties, at 98 percent. All but two of the top 10 counties in this category were along or near the Mexican border.

Highlights for the various groups:

Hispanic

  • Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population of any county in the nation (4.7 million).
  • Maricopa County had the largest numeric increase between 2006 and 2007, gaining 60,700 Hispanics.
  • Starr County had the largest Hispanic proportion of its total population at 97.3 percent. In fact, each of the top 10 counties in this category was in Texas.
  • There were 46 majority-Hispanic counties. All but two — Seward, Kan., and Bronx, N.Y. — were in the South or the West. The remaining such counties were in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Washington.

Black

  • Cook County (Chicago) had the largest black population (1.4 million).
  • Orleans Parish, La., had the largest numeric increase in the black population from 2006 to 2007 (20,800). Neighboring St. Bernard Parish had the largest percent increase over the period (97.3 percent).
  • Claiborne County, Miss., had the largest percent of population that was black (84.5 percent). Claiborne led 82 majority-black counties or equivalents, all but one of which (St. Louis city, Mo.) was in the South.

Asian

  • Los Angeles County had the largest Asian population (1.4 million).
  • Santa Clara County, Calif., had the largest numeric increase (18,400) in the Asian population from 2006 to 2007.
  • Honolulu County, Hawaii had the largest proportion of Asians as part of the total county population (58.8 percent). Kauai County, Hawaii (50.6 percent) was the only other majority Asian county in the nation. Four of the five counties that had the largest proportion of Asians were in Hawaii – including Maui County (45 percent) and Hawaii County (44.4 percent). San Francisco County, Calif., (33.3 percent) completed the top five.

American Indian and Alaska Native

  • Los Angeles County had the largest population of American Indians and Alaska Natives in 2007 (146,500).
  • Maricopa County had the largest numeric increase in this group from 2006 to 2007 (2,300).
  • Shannon County, S.D., had the largest percent of total population who were American Indian or Alaska Natives (87 percent). It led 10 counties that were more than 50 percent American Indian or Alaska Native.

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

  • Honolulu County had the nation’s largest Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population (172,200).
  • Clark County, Nev., and Maricopa County had the largest numeric increases in this population from 2006 to 2007 — 800 and 700, respectively.
  • The four counties with the largest percent of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders were all in Hawaii – Hawaii (28.6 percent), Maui (23.4 percent), Kauai (22.9 percent) and Honolulu (19.0 percent).

Non-Hispanic White alone

  • Los Angeles County had the largest population (2.9 million) of non-Hispanic white alone residents.
  • Maricopa County had the largest numeric increase in the non-Hispanic white alone population between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, growing by 22,600 people.
  • Magoffin County, Ky., had the highest non-Hispanic single-race white population as a proportion of the total population of any county in the nation (98.9 percent).

Preschoolers

  • Four of the 10 counties with the highest proportion of children younger than 5 were in Texas. Two each were in South Dakota and Washington.
  • In 26 counties, 10 percent or more of the total population was younger than 5.
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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 2007 of 10,000 or more.

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 <http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/compraceho.html>.)

These data are based on estimates of U.S. population for July 1, 2007. The Census Bureau estimates population change from the most recent decennial census (Census 2000) using annual data on births, deaths and international migration. More detailed information on the methodology used to produce these estimates can be found at <http://www.census.gov/popest/topics/methodology/2007-st-char-meth.html>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: February 10, 2014