Capitol Alert

Census Bureau report shows California’s diversity

California not only has the highest population of any state, but is home to the largest populations of four major ethnic groups, a new Census Bureau report reveals.

California has more whites, Latinos, Asians and American Indians than any other state, the Census Bureau says, and its combined nonwhite population – 61.5 percent of 39 million Californians – is the second highest of any state. Hawaii is first.

Latinos have become California’s largest ethnic group at 15 million, followed closely by single-race whites at 14.9 million. Although Hawaii is the nation’s only Asian-majority state, California has its largest Asian population, 6.3 million.

Los Angeles County not has only the largest Latino population of any county at 4.9 million, but the largest Asian community, 1.7 million, and the largest American Indian population, 235,000.

California has a relatively small black population, about 6.5 percent of its total, and it, like the state’s white population, has been shrinking in relative terms as those of Latinos and Asians surge due to immigration and relatively high birth rates.