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CB09-76

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009

Census Bureau Releases State and County Data Depicting Nation's Population Ahead of 2010 Census

Orange, Fla. joins the growing list of 'majority-minority' counties

     Orange County, Fla., the nation's 35th most populous county, is one of six counties to have become majority-minority between 2007 and 2008, according to state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Majority-minority is defined as more than half the population being of a group other than single-race, non-Hispanic white.

     Perhaps best known as home to Walt Disney World and Orlando, Orange County was slightly more than 50 percent minority in 2008, including 25 percent Hispanic and 22 percent black or African-American.

     "These estimates paint a detailed portrait of our nation at the national, state and county levels ahead of next year's 2010 Census," said Census Bureau Acting Director Tom Mesenbourg.

     Five other U.S. counties also became majority-minority in 2008 - Stanislaus, Calif.; Finney, Kan.; Warren, Miss.; Edwards, Texas; and Schleicher, Texas. Nearly 10 percent (309) of the nation's 3,142 counties were majority-minority as of July 1, 2008 (of that total, 56 have become majority-minority since April 1, 2000).

     Starr County, Texas, had the highest percentage minority population (98 percent), followed by two other Texas counties - Maverick (97 percent) and Webb (95 percent). The vast majority of the minority population in all three of these counties was Hispanic.

     One county, Webster, Ga., was majority-minority in 2007 but not in 2008.

     Four states were majority-minority in 2008: Hawaii (75 percent), New Mexico (58 percent), California (58 percent) and Texas (53 percent). The District of Columbia was 67 percent minority. No other state had more than a 43 percent minority population.

     The nation's "oldest" county was La Paz, Ariz., with 34 percent of its population age 65 or older in 2008. It was followed by Highlands, Fla. (32 percent) and Lancaster, Va. (32 percent.)

     Chattahoochee, Ga., had the lowest proportion of its population 65 or older (3 percent), followed by Eagle, Colo. (4 percent) and Shannon, S.D. (5 percent).

     Among states, Florida had the highest percentage of its total population 65 or older (17 percent), followed by West Virginia (16 percent) and Pennsylvania (15 percent). Alaska had the lowest percentage (7 percent), followed by Utah (9 percent) and Georgia (10 percent).

Other highlights:

Hispanics

  • California had the largest Hispanic population of any state in July 2008 (13.5 million), as well as the largest numeric increase within the Hispanic population since July 2007 (313,000). New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanics at 45 percent.
  • Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest Hispanic population of any county (4.7 million) in 2008 and the largest numeric increase since 2007 (67,000). Starr County -- on the Mexican border in southern Texas -- had the highest share of Hispanics (97 percent).
  • There were 48 majority-Hispanic counties nationally; the top 10 were all in Texas.

Blacks

  • New York had the largest black population of any state as of July 1, 2008 (3.5 million); Georgia had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (67,000). The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (56 percent), followed by Mississippi (38 percent).
  • Cook County, Ill. (Chicago) had the largest black population of any county (1.4 million), and Orleans Parish, La. (New Orleans) had the largest numeric increase since July 1, 2007 (16,000). Claiborne County, Miss. -- on the Louisiana border -- had the highest percentage of blacks in the nation (84 percent).
  • Seventy-seven counties were majority-black or African-American; all were in the South.

Asians

  • California had both the largest Asian population of any state (5.1 million) in July 2008 and the largest numeric increase of Asians since July 2007 (105,000). Hawaii is our nation's only majority-Asian state, with people of this group comprising 54 percent of the total population.
  • Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest Asian population of any county (1.4 million) in July 2008. Santa Clara County, Calif. (San Jose) had the largest numeric increase (19,000) since July 2007. At 58 percent, Honolulu County, Hawaii, was the only majority-Asian county in the nation.

American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN)

  • California had the largest American Indian and Alaska Native population of any state in July 2008 (739,000); Texas had the largest numeric increase since July 2007 (13,000). Alaska had the highest percentage of AIAN (18 percent).
  • Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest population of AIAN of any county in July 2008 (155,000); Maricopa County, Ariz. (Phoenix) had the largest numeric increase (2,300) since July 2007. Shannon County, S.D. -- on the Nebraska border and located entirely within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation -- had the highest percentage of AIAN (88 percent). Shannon was one of 10 majority-AIAN counties nationwide.

Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHPI)

  • California had the largest population of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders of any state (282,000) in July 2008, as well as the largest numeric increase since July 2007 (6,000). Hawaii had the highest percentage of NHPI (22 percent).
  • Honolulu County, Hawaii, had the largest population of NHPI of any county (179,000) in July 2008. Clark County, Nev. (Las Vegas) had the largest numeric increase since July 2007 (857). Hawaii County, Hawaii, had the highest percentage of NHPI (30 percent).

Non-Hispanic White Alone

  • California had the largest population of single-race, non-Hispanic whites of any state as of July 2008 (15.5 million); Texas had the largest numeric increase since July 2007 (85,000). Maine and Vermont had the highest percentage of whites (95 percent each).
  • Los Angeles County, Calif., had the largest population of whites of any county (2.8 million) in July 2008; Maricopa County, Ariz., had the largest numeric increase since July 2007 (22,000). Magoffin County, Ky., had the highest percentage of whites (99 percent).

Age Groups

  • Utah had the highest percentage of its total population under age 5 of any state (10 percent). A pair of New England states -- Vermont and Maine -- had the lowest (5 percent each).
  • There is a greater than 13-year difference in the median ages of the state with the highest median age (Maine at 42) and the one with the lowest (Utah at 28.7).
  • Shannon County, S.D., and Webb County, Texas, had the highest proportions of their population under age 5 of any county (13 percent each).
  • Alcona County, Mich. (on Lake Huron), Curry County, Ore. (on the Pacific Ocean), and Glades County, Fla. (on Lake Okeechobee) had the lowest proportions of their population younger than 5 of any county at 3 percent each.

Sex

  • There are only 11 states where men make up the majority of the population. Alaska has the highest percentage of men at 52.1 percent. Following Alaska are Nevada (50.9 percent), Wyoming (50.7 percent), Utah (50.5 percent) and Colorado (50.4 percent).
  • The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of women of any state or state equivalent at 52.7 percent, followed by Maryland (51.6 percent), Rhode Island (51.6 percent), Alabama (51.6 percent) and Mississippi (51.5 percent).
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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 2008 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 races. The detailed tables show data for both these groups 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.

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. 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>.)

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