The U.S. Census Bureau recently rolled out 2020 data to the public, revealing a trove of information about the nation’s growth, diversity and more. Despite collection delays during the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of households across America responded. “We are excited to reach this milestone,” said acting Census Bureau director, Ron Jarmin, during a during a virtual press conference on August 12.
Here are five takeaways.
- The U.S. population has grown by 22 million since 2010. In 2020, more than 331 million people lived in the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The most populous state: California at 39 million; the least populous: Wyoming at 576,851. Texas grew the most numerically (by 3 million) to 29 million people.
- U.S. metro areas grew slightly. Statistics show that 86% of the population lived in these communities in 2020, an increase of 1 percent since 2010. “Many counties within metro areas saw growth, especially those in the south and west. However, as we’ve been seeing in our annual population estimates, our nation is growing slower than it used to,” said Marc Perry, a senior Census Bureau demographer in a statement. The largest county in the U.S. remains Los Angeles County with more than 10 million people. The largest city remains New York with 8.8 million people.
- Census data on race shows the white population in the U.S. has declined for the first time. While still the country’s largest race or ethnicity group (204.3 million people identified as white alone) the population has decreased by 8.6% since 2010.
- The U.S. is much more multiracial and diverse. The multiracial population was measured at 33.8 million people in 2020 (it was 9 million people in 2010) which is a 276% increase. The Hispanic/Latino population (which includes people of any race) was 62.1 million in 2020–growth of 23 percent. The Black/African American population is 46.9 million, the second-largest race alone group. The next largest racial populations in the country are: Asian (24 million); American Indian and Alaska Native (9.7 million); and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander alone or in combination (1.6 million). Regions with the highest nonwhite racial/ethnic composition are found in the West (Hawaii, California and Nevada); parts of the South (Maryland and Texas; along with the District of Columbia); and the Northeast (New York and New Jersey).
- By law, Census population counts will be used for apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Based on the 2020 numbers, Texas will gain two seats; five states— Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon— will gain one seat each. Seven states— California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia— will lose one seat each. The remaining states’ number of seats will not change based on the 2020 Census. The new reapportioned numbers will impact the next session of Congress (118th) to convene in 2023. Officials said the Census Bureau will next turn its attention to delivering data that states can use for the redistricting process.