Hispanic population and racial diversity continue their growth in the U.S.
One in four Americans identify themselves as Hispanic or Asian.
New data from the 2020 census was recently revealed on Thursday, Aug. 12. The biggest revelation was the increase in racial diversity in the country.
The evident ethnic diversity of the country is being reflected in the numbers, which confirm several predicted developments in the U.S. population over the past decade.
The most important is that 33.8 million people recognized themselves as belonging to more than one race, an increase of more than three times the previous count of 9 million in 2010. Only 6.8 million considered themselves to be of more than one race in 2000, the first year the question was asked.
The other big finding is the increase in the U.S.’s Asian population. It was the fastest growing group in the country, up 36%, even ahead of Hispanics, which grew by 23%.
As a result, one in four Americans now identify themselves as Hispanic or Asian.
Beyond numbers and percentages, the census results determine most aspects of the political and economic makeup of the country.
For example, some states lost congressional seats, such as California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as their populations declined compared to other states that gained, such as Texas (by two seats), and Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon, which all gained one.
Census data also determines how the nation's budget is distributed, not only by region, but also by ethnic group.
According to a study cited by USA Today, the distribution of $1.5 trillion in 2017 for state and local governments, businesses and NGOs depended on the census, especially in rural areas.
But beyond the budget, political representation and recognition of racial diversity is the greatest achievement of the 2020 census.
Ivette Roubideaux, vice president of research at the National Congress of Indians, told USA Today that "America is more diverse than ever, and that diversity is a strength, not a weakness. We are excited to see the data confirm what we already see in our communities or schools, workplaces, and with family and friends."
On the other hand, Stanford University sociologist Tomás Jimenez told The New York Times about how the most recent census allowed for more diversity than any count before it.
“We are in a weird time demographically, there’s more choice about our individual identities and how we present them than there has ever been. We can presume far less about who somebody is based on the boxes they check compared to previous periods," he said.
Another major change is the list of the largest U.S. cities. According to the 2020 census, they are now New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix.
Philadelphia dropped out of the top five as it was surpassed by Phoenix, which is the fastest-growing city of the country's 20 largest cities, increasing its population by 11.2% in the last decade.