This week we learned that Sonia Sotomayor could be the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court. As with any Supreme Court nomination, there has been speculation on her as a choice. Was she chosen partly because of her Hispanic origins? Will her background affect her ability to judge on ruings?
New census report data says this;
- Multiracial Americans have become the fastest growing demographic group, wielding an impact on minority growth that challenges traditional notions of race.
- The number of multiracial people rose 3.4 percent last year to about 5.2 million, according to the latest census estimates.
- First given the option in 2000, Americans who check more than one box for race on census surveys have jumped by 33 percent and now make up 5 percent of the minority population — with millions more believed to be uncounted.
Demographers attributed the recent population growth to more social acceptance and slowing immigration. The reasoning- multi racial public figures such as Tiger Woods and President Barack Obama, a self-described “mutt.”
- Population figures as of July 2008 show that California, Texas, New York and Florida had the most multiracial people.
- Measured by percentages, Hawaii ranked first with nearly 1 in 5 residents who were multiracial, followed by Alaska and Oklahoma, both at roughly 4 percent.
- Utah had the highest growth rate of multiracial people in 2008 compared to the previous year, a reflection of increasing social openness in a mostly white state.
Census data also show:
- More than half of the multiracial population was younger than 20 years old, a reflection of declining social stigma as interracial marriages became less taboo.
- Interracial marriages increased threefold to 4.3 million since 2000, when Alabama became the last state to lift its unenforceable ban on interracial marriages. (The Supreme Court barred race-based restrictions on marriage in 1967.) About 1 in 13 marriages are mixed race, with the most prevalent being white-Hispanic, white-American Indian and white-Asian.
- Due to declining immigration because of legal restrictions and the lackluster economy, the growth rates of the Hispanic and Asian populations slowed last year to 3.2 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, compared to multiracial people’s 3.4 percent. The black population rose at a rate of about 1 percent; the white population only marginally increased.
- The 2008 census say that “white” refers to those whites who are not of Hispanic ethnicity. For purposes of defining interracial marriages, Hispanic is counted as a race.
- 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. That’s partly due to Walt Disney World and Orlando, Orange County where slightly more than 50 percent minority in 2008, including 25 percent Hispanic and 22 percent black or African-American.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).