LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2011 (AFP) – Asian and Latin American immigrants have fueled a surge in California’s population over the last decade, according to new census figures released this week.
The Latino population grew by nearly 28 percent to 14 million people, while there were 31 percent more Asians in the western US state – 4.8 million – the census data showed.
The proportion of Latin Americans has nearly reached parity with the non-Hispanic white population: 37.6 percent of Californians are Latinos, 40.1 percent non-Hispanic white, 12.8 percent Asians and 5.8 percent black.
Overall California’s population grew by 10 percent – or 3.4 million people – from 33.8 million in 2000 to 37.2 million in 2010, according to the Census Bureau date released Tuesday.
In some cities the proportions are even more pronounced. In San Francisco there are 42 percent whites; 33 percent Asians and 15.1 percent Latinos.
“This is a city of immigrants, and the Asian community is too large to be ignored,” David Lee, head of the city’s Chinese American Voters Education Committee told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“It’s becoming a political force in the city, and is now one of the most powerful voting blocs.”
Michelle Romero of the public policy Greenlining Institute added: “What you’re seeing is the future, a growth trend in the communities of color that we expect to continue.”