“The US population is much more multiracial and diverse than we have measured in the past,” saying Nicholas Jones, the Census Bureau’s director of race and ethnicity research, in a press release today.
According to last year’s census data, whites are still the largest racial or ethnic group in the country. Around 204.3 million people described themselves as white without also identifying with another group. (Another 31.1 million Americans identified themselves as both white and with another group.) However, the population that identified only as white declined by 8.6 percent from the previous census in 2010.
The second largest ethnic group in America? People who chose multiple racial boxes or checked “Some other race. “These people now number 49.9 million, outnumbering the African American population, which is now 46.9 million.
The fact that more Americans are checking multiracial census boxes follows the stable increase in mixed racial and ethnic marriages for the past 50 years.
America’s Hispanic population, which includes people of multiple races, now stands at 62.1 million. Approximately 24 million people described themselves as Asian (either alone or in combination with another group), 9.7 million as American Indian or Alaska Native (alone or in combination), and 1.6 million as Pacific Islanders (alone or in combination).
America’s total population grew at the slowest rate since the Great Depression, from 308.7 million in 2010 to 331.4 million, an increase of 7.35 percent.
More Americans became urbanites, and 52 percent of the nation’s countries lost population between 2010 and 2020.
Metropolitan areas that were already large tended to grow, while smaller cities tended to decrease in population.
The Census Bureau defines metropolitan areas as counties that contain a city with at least 50,000 residents; Micropolitan areas have between 10,000 and 50,000 inhabitants. Some 81 percent of US metropolitan areas increased in population from 2010 to 2020, but only 48 percent of US micropolitan areas grew during the decade.
Three states – West Virginia, Mississippi and Illinois – lost population, as did Puerto Rico.
The point of the decennial national census is to calculate how many members of the House of Representatives will be assigned to each state.
As a result of these population changes, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and California will each lose one representative. Congressional delegations from Oregon, Montana, Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina will each grow by one, and Texas will win two.