Census data confirm growing Asian, Latino population in Iowa

The latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that Asian-Americans are now the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group nationwide and in Iowa. An estimated 60,004 Asian-Americans were living in Iowa as of July 2012, which is 10.6 percent more than the census estimate for 2010 and 4.8 percent more than the estimate for 2011. Sanjita Shrestha, who leads the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, told Radio Iowa that "many Asians who come here are reuniting with family members and finding jobs." The largest numbers of Asian-Americans live in five Iowa counties: Polk, Johnson, Story, Linn and Scott. A map on the Cedar Rapids Gazette website shows that there are also relatively high percentages of Asian-Americans in some smaller counties such as Jefferson (where Fairfield is located) and Buena Vista.

There are still many more Latinos in Iowa than Asian-Americans, and Latino population growth continues to outpace population growth statewide. Ed Tibbetts reported for the Quad-City Times that census data show 162,894 Latinos were living in Iowa as of July 2012.

That's a 3.2 percent increase from the year before, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, which are being released today. The increase was 10 times the estimated boost in the state's overall population for the year. [...]

The new Census data says 25 of Iowa's 99 counties now have at least 5 percent of their population made up of Latinos, up from 15 just five years ago. Latinos make up 10 percent of the population in 10 counties, up from seven in 2008.

Muscatine County is approximately 16.5 percent Latino according to the new census estimates. In terms of raw numbers, the counties with the largest Latino populations are Polk, Woodbury, Scott, Marshall, Muscatine, and Johnson.

After non-Hispanic whites and Latinos, African-Americans are the third-largest racial group in Iowa. According to the latest census data, "Iowa's African-American population grew by 2.3 percent [from mid-2011 to mid-2012] to 97,080, with Polk, Johnson and Scott counties accounting for more than half the growth."

Tags: Demographics

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