10 New Findings from the U.S. Census

The population of white children dropped by 4.3 million.

April 6, 2011, 6:55 PM

April 7, 2011 — -- The 2010 U.S. Census shows minority groups growing, old industrial cities like Detroit and Cleveland shrinking, and plenty of homes still to be had in central Florida. Those are just some of the pieces of information coming out as the Census Bureau rolls out data from last year's survey.

Here are some of the new findings from the census:

1. White children could be "minority" by 2019; Hispanics and Asians account for all the growth among the nation's child population.

From 2000 to 2010, the population of white children declined by 4.3 million, while Hispanic and Asian children grew by 5.5 million, based on data from the 1990, 2000 and 2010 decennial censuses.

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, estimated in a report that if data from the 2010 Census is taken into account, there will be a minority white child population "quite likely" by 2019. Previous Census Bureau projections showed that the U.S. would become "minority white" by 2042, and the child population could reach that by 2023.

"The good news is we have a much-needed demographic magic bullet for what otherwise would be an aging, shrinking population," Frey said. "The new minority growth is great for our labor force for decades on out."

But Frey said people who are "anti-immigrant" could try to use fear to use these population growth figures for political purposes. Currently, white children are the "minority" in 10 states and 34 large metropolitan areas.

"I think there's a great tendency for fear and unease for older people who, when they were growing up, didn't experience a lot of immigration," Frey said. "Americans are generally good spirited people but if you have politicians that try to fan the flames it has a bad result."

Zvia Naphtali, professor of public administration at New York University, said there are more likely a larger number of minorities than calculated by the Census.

"Often people in the country illegally don't want to have anything to do with institutions and don't participate in the Census," Naphtali said.

2. Detroit Loses a Quarter of its population

Detroit lost over 237,000 people over the last decade, causing its population to drop by 25 percent. The motor city's population fell to 713,777 in 2010 from 951,270 in 2000. While a drop was expected, the degree of the population loss was still surprising to many.

"The scale of it was pretty alarming to people," said Ezra Glenn, of the Urban Studies and Planning department at MIT.

3. The Growth of the Sunbelt

The warmest areas of the country saw greater population growth than the coldest areas of the country. The warmest 40 percent of counties have average population growth of over 8 percent from 2000 to 2010, and the coldest 40 percent of counties had average population growth of under 3 percent, according to Edward Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard and director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

"This trend is certainly not new," said Glaeser in a policy brief, because January temperature has been a "powerful predictor of area growth" for decades. Fewer regulations and lower taxes may also be contributing to growth in places like Dallas, Atlanta and Houston.

4. The Poorest County in the U.S. is in Kentucky

Owsley County, Ky., had the lowest median household income in the U.S., not including Puerto Rico. The county's median income decreased to $18,869 in 2009 from $20,346 in 2000, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey data.

5. Westchester, N.Y., has highest property taxes in the U.S.

Residents in Westchester County, N.Y. had a median $9,044 in real estate taxes, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey data in 2009. Three counties in New York and seven counties in New Jersey comprise the top-ten list.

6. Orlando, Fla., is nation's most vacant city

In Orlando, the home vacancy rate is 4.3 percent and apartment vacancy rate is 23.6 percent, according to Census data from the fourth quarter of 2010 compiled by Forbes.

7. Puerto Rico has more African Americans and American Indians

The number of Puerto Ricans identifying as black or American Indian increased over 50 percent in the past ten years, according to Census data. Over 461,000 of the island's 3.7 million population identified as black, an increase of 52 percent. Meanwhile, 20,000 said they were American Indian, an increase of 49 percent, according to the Associated Press. The population that identifies as white decreased about 8 percentage points to 76 percent.

8. Percentage of parenting among same-sex couples is highest in the south

The region with the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children (26.3 percent) was the "East South Central" region, which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The number of couples raising children under 18 there were 6,283, while there were 17,583 same-sex couples not raising children in those states.

The West South Central region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, came in second with 26 percent of same sex couples raising children, or 13,914, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey Data. The number of same-sex couples not raising children was 39,665 in that region.

Third was New England, at 24.4 percent, or 9,322 same-sex couples raising children with 28,877 couples not raising children.

"This parenting data is counter to many peoples' expectations," said Gary Gates, demographer with the Williams Institute. He said he is anticipating additional data from the 2010 Census.

Gates said an estimated 3.5 percent of adults in the U.S. identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual and an estimated 0.3 percent of adults are transgender, according to research published this month.

9. Cleveland sees lowest population in 100 years

Cleveland's population decreased by 17 percent to 396,815, according to the Census Bureau, after 80,000 residents left the city. "We knew there was going to be a loss. We did not think it was going to be this many," Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

10. More blacks in south moving to suburbs

The percentage of African Americans in metropolitan areas of the south who moved to the suburbs increased to 58 percent, compared to 41 percent in the rest of the U.S., according to Census figures. That's up from 52 percent in 2000, according to The Associated Press.