Nation grows 9.7 percent. SD in top 5 largest counties

By Elizabeth Aguilera
Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.

Hispanic and Asian populations continue to grow as the country's mean population maintains its westward and southern march, according to national 2010 census data released Thursday.

The Census Bureau has been releasing state data in small blocks since February. With the circulation of the final states this week the bureau provided a national look at population, race and ethnicity.

Nationwide, the population reached 308.7 million people, a 9.7 percent increase over 2000 but the slowest growth rate in six decades, according to the Census Bureau. Both California and San Diego County grew 10 percent in the same period, also seen as some of the slowest growth in the history of the region.

The full tally of the nation's residents shows the center of U.S. population is in Texas County, Missouri. The center has slowly moved from Kent County, Maryland, in 1790, toward the west and south and is expected to continue progressing in this direction in coming decades.

The full release shows Hispanics topped 50 million for the first time and now account for 16.3 percent of the population, up from 13 percent in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

In San Diego County Hispanics account for 32 percent of the population.
The county ranks 10th largest in total Latino population and 9th in total Latino percent of the population in the county when compared to counties nationwide.

Nationally, the country is racially 72.4 percent white, 12.6 percent black, 4.8 percent Asian, 6.2 percent some other race. Take note, all of these race groups may include Hispanics. Hispanic is an ethnic designation and not a race therefore those who identified as Hispanic also chose a race such as white, black, Asian, when completing the census form last year.

Highlights from the 2010 Census data:

Total US population grew 9.7 percent to 308,745,538, marking the slowest growth in six decades.

San Diego County grew 10 percent since 2000.

San Diego County, with 3.1 million residents ranked in the top 5 largest U.S. counties with Los Angeles, Cook, Ill.; Harris, Texas; Maricopa, Ariz..

U.S. Hispanic population accounts for 16.3 percent of the population in 2010, up from 13 percent in 2000. San Diego County's Latino population accounts for 32 percent of the county population, up from 27 percent in 2000.

National Hispanic counts do not include 3.7 million population in Puerto Rico.

The Pacific Southwest, interior Southwest and Pacific Northwest saw some of the highest growth of minority populations in last decade.

The population of those under age 18 grew 2.9 percent; of those 22 percent growth is attributed to an increase among minority youth.

American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander accounted for the highest proportions of those who identified themselves as ore than one race.

Beaumont and Lincoln Counties in California rank as some of the fastest growing.

Louisville, Fort Worth, Charlotte and El Paso make top 20 largest cities list in 2010, knocking out Memphis, Boston and Baltimore.

San Diego City is still second largest in California behind Los Angeles.2010 census shows 1.3 million pop., up 6.9 percent from 1.2 million in 2000.

In California the five largest counties are all in Southern California. From biggest: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino.

The state's 10 percent pop growth from 2000-2010 is lowest since 1910. High was in 1920-1930 with 66 percent growth.

California is still the most populous state with 37,253,956 residents versus the smallest, Wyoming with 563,626.

The west region is now more populous than the Midwest for the first time in a century. The south is now second most populous. ... gest-coun/