Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Californians becoming more Latino, more Asian, more mixed

The state bear flag flies in Merced County, November 2009
The state bear flag flies in Merced County, November 2009
Photo by Håkan Dahlström/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The California results from the 2010 Census reveal a state that is becoming increasingly Latino, Asian, and to a smaller degree, more multiracial.

The California results showing racial, ethnic, housing and other data were released this afternoon. While the state's population growth overall was modest - up only 10 percent since 2000 - its Latino population has grown 27.8 percent, with Latinos now making up 37.6 percent of the state's residents. California's Asian population grew even more dramatically, up 30.9 percent since 2000, though Asians make up only 12.8 percent of the state's population.

The state's native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population remains small, but is up by more than 23 percent from a decade ago. And the percentage of Californians who identified as a combination of two or more races, while only about 5 percent of the population, grew by 12.9 percent.

The jump in the Latino and Asian populations accounted for the bulk of the state's growth. Among non-Latino Californians, the number of those who identified as white dropped by 5.4 percent, and those who identified as black dropped by .08 percent.

The census data also traced the inland housing and construction boom of the past decade: While Los Angeles County's population grew by only 3.1 percent, Riverside County's population jumped 41.7 percent from 2000. Among the state's most populous cities, Fontana had the biggest population boom, a jump of 52.1 percent.

The state's population growth is not enough to warrant an additional representation in Congress, though the numbers will be used for legislative redistricting.