Census: Hispanic population propels growth in Fla. in past decade

The share of Hispanics living in Florida grew by almost 60 percent over the past decade as the percentage of white residents declined slightly and the proportion of blacks and Asians inched up, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census.

Hispanics now make up 22.5 percent of Florida's 18.8 million residents, up from 16.7 percent of Floridians in 2000, when the state only had 15.9 million residents, the Census data showed.

Florida growth outpaces national trend

Most of Florida's largest counties and cities grew more rapidly than the nation since 2000, according to 2010 Census data released Thursday.

"It's a story of two different half-decades," says Stanley Smith, director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida. "The first half was so great that it made up for any decline of the past few years."

Brevard is growing a little older

Brevard County keeps growing, graying and diversifying.

More than one in every five Brevardian is 65 or older, and about one in every 14 is Hispanic, according to figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Civic leaders worry that the county's aging diverse population could stress social safety nets.

Brevard is "a little bit older than the state as a whole," said Stanley Smith, program director for the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "But its growth rate is very similar to the state average."

Census: Manatee less white since 2000

MANATEE — Manatee County has become slightly younger, a little more masculine, more racially diverse and a lot more Hispanic so far this decade, according to Census estimates to be released today.

The county’s Hispanic and Asian populations have nearly doubled, its median age has fallen by a few months and males narrowed their numerical gap with females between 2000 and mid-2008, the figures show.

The Census’ July 1, 2008, statistical snapshot of Manatee largely mirrored Florida, which has steadily become more ethnically and racially diverse, demographers said.

Hispanics lead as largest minority group in U.S.

Hispanics were the fastest-growing minority group in the country, with a 3.3 percent increase between 2006 and 2007, according to the Census. Asians were the second fastest-growing minority group, with a 2.9 percent population increase during the period.

The growth rate of Florida’s minority groups was slightly different. The Asian community had a 3.64 percent population increase from 2006 to 2007, while Hispanics had a 3.61 percent increase during the same period.

Population Studies

The Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) began making population estimates for Florida and its counties in the 1950s, formally establishing the Population Program in 1972 when BEBR received the first of a continuous series of annual contracts from the State of Florida to produce the state's official city and county population estimates.

The Population Program continues to produce Florida’s official city, county, and state population estimates each year. These estimates are used for state revenue-sharing and many other planning, budgeting, and analytical purposes. The program also produces estimates of households and average household size and projections by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin for the state and each county.

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