Editor’s note: This story is the first in a series we will be running all year about the 2010 Census data that will be released in bits and pieces during the coming months. Raleigh grew by 68 percent from 2000 through 2011 and we hope to dig in and explore this wealth of data and what it all means on the ground in our city.
Anytime one of our city’s population groups grows by 137 percent is a time to sit up and take notice. That’s exactly what the 2010 Census results show has happened with Raleigh’s Hispanic or Latino population in the last decade. Another standout statistic is that folks identifying themselves as having two or more races grew by 103 percent.
The fact that Raleigh is growing quickly is not exactly news, but specific details about the people who make up that growth are now available from the 2010 Census.
The Census Bureau releases reports gradually and so far, officials have released data on race and housing occupancy totals.
The City’s total population grew by 68 percent, from 2000’s total of 276,093 to 2010’s total of 403,892. Despite the dramatic growth of two segments – Hispanic or Latino and those identifying themselves as having two or more races – each group’s ranking within the total population remained steady.
Racial groupings for American Indian and Alaska Native persons totaled 1,963 last year, jumping 78 percent from 2000’s 1,104 total. Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders totaled 173, a 47 percent gain from the 2000 total of 118.
Growth in total numbers for whites grew 33 percent, from 174,786 to 232,377, but the white percentage of the total population fell from 63 percent to 58 percent. Black population numbers grew 54 percent over the last decade and the group’s percentage rose slightly from 27 percent in 2000 to 29 percent today. The Asian population rose 85 percent in total numbers and percentage of the Asian population rose slightly from 3.4 percent to four percent.
Housing occupancy was little changed in the last 10 years, although the total number of units grew 46 percent. Census defines a unit as “a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupancy)” as separate living quarters. In 2010, of a total 176,124 units, only 5 percent (8,091 units) were unoccupied. In 2000, the city’s housing units totaled 120,699 with 7 percent unoccupied.
In terms of population alone, Raleigh’s growth may be fastest, but Charlotte’s 2010 population total of 731,424 is almost double the capital city’s size. Durham’s 2010 total of 228,330 is just more than half of Raleigh’s population. The town of Cary, at 135,234 is larger than both Wilmington (106,476) and the City of Asheville (83,393).
As more numbers are released from the Census, the Record will continue reporting on the changes a decade makes in the people who call Raleigh home.