WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Knowledge of the racial and ethnic makeup of our region—and how such demographics are changing—is essential to understanding other indicators that utilize measurements based on race or ethnicity. Notably, the increase in racial and ethnic diversity in the metro region (as documented above) appears to mirror the state of the US population as a whole. In gathering the above data, the US Census asks respondents to self-identify by race and by ethnicity with two separate questions. This acknowledges that race and ethnicity (in this case, Hispanic origin) are independent and that any particular respondent may have any combination of the two: e.g., White and Hispanic, Black and non-Hispanic, American Indian and Hispanic, and so on.
The first chart on this page represents those respondents who identified within just one racial category, in addition to respondents of any race who identified as Hispanic or Latino. The second chart shows the percentage of respondents who reported each race, whether solely that race or in combination—for example, someone identifying as Asian and Black would show up in both of these categories. For this reason, percentages in the second chart may add up to more than 100 percent. The third chart uses the same measurement as the second but shows changes in this measurement over time.
Note that the first chart on this page does not include data for two categories: “Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander” and “Some Other Race.” This is because the percentages of Census respondents identifying solely as either of these was too small to visually appear on the chart. This data, however, can still be found in the Excel download at the link below.