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2020 Census Statistics Highlight Local Population Changes and Nation’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity


The following is a cross-post from the U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau today released additional 2020 Census results showing an increase in the population of U.S. metro areas compared to a decade ago. In addition, these once-a-decade results showed the nation’s diversity in how people identify their race and ethnicity.

“We are excited to reach this milestone of delivering the first detailed statistics from the 2020 Census,” said acting Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin. “We appreciate the public’s patience as Census Bureau staff worked diligently to process these data and ensure it meets our quality standards."

These statistics, which come from the 2020 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File, provide the first look at populations for small areas and include information on Hispanic origin, race, age 18 and over, housing occupancy and group quarters. They represent where people were living as of April 1, 2020, and are available for the nation, states and communities down to the block level.

The Census Bureau also released data visualizationsAmerica Counts stories, and videos to help illustrate and explain these data. These resources are available on the 2020 Census results page. Advanced users can access these data on the FTP site.

Population Changes Across the Country Since the 2010 Census

Today’s release reveals changes in the size and distribution of the population across the United States. The population of U.S. metro areas grew by 9% from 2010 to 2020, resulting in 86% of the population living in U.S. metro areas in 2020, compared to 85% in 2010.

“Many counties within metro areas saw growth, especially those in the south and west. However, as we’ve been seeing in our annual population estimates, our nation is growing slower than it used to,” said Marc Perry, a senior demographer at the Census Bureau. “This decline is evident at the local level where around 52% of the counties in the United States saw their 2020 Census populations decrease from their 2010 Census populations.”

County and metro area highlights:

  • The largest county in the United States in 2020 remains Los Angeles County with over 10 million people.
  • The largest city (incorporated place) in the United States in 2020 remains New York with 8.8 million people.
  • 312 of the 384 U.S. metro areas gained population between 2010 and 2020.
  • The fastest-growing U.S. metro area between the 2010 Census and 2020 Census was The Villages, FL, which grew 39% from about 93,000 people to about 130,000 people.
  • 72 U.S. metro areas lost population from the 2010 Census to the 2020 Census. The U.S. metro areas with the largest percentage declines were Pine Bluff, AR, and Danville, IL, at -12.5 percent and -9.1 percent, respectively.

A data visualization released today shows the population change at the county level from the 2010 Census to the 2020 Census. Read more about population change in the America Counts story, More Than Half of U.S. Counties Were Smaller in 2020 Than in 2010.

2020 Census Findings on Race and Ethnicity

The 2020 Census used the required two separate questions (one for Hispanic or Latino origin and one for race) to collect the races and ethnicities of the U.S. population ­­— following the standards set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 1997. Building upon our research over the past decade, we improved the two separate questions design and updated our data processing and coding procedures for the 2020 Census. This work began in 2015 with research and testing centered on findings from the 2015 National Content Test, and the designs were implemented in the 2018 Census Test.

The improvements and changes enabled a more thorough and accurate depiction of how people self-identify, yielding a more accurate portrait of how people report their Hispanic origin and race within the context of a two-question format. These changes reveal that the U.S. population is much more multiracial and more diverse than what we measured in the past.

We are confident that differences in the overall racial distributions are largely due to improvements in the design of the two separate questions for race data collection and processing, as well as some demographic changes over the past 10 years.

Today’s release of 2020 Census redistricting data provides a new snapshot of the racial and ethnic composition of the country as a result of improvements in the design of the race and ethnicity questions, processing and coding.

“As the country has grown, we have continued to evolve in how we measure the race and ethnicity of the people who live here,” said Nicholas Jones, director and senior advisor for race and ethnicity research and outreach at the Census Bureau. “Today’s release of 2020 Census redistricting data provides a new snapshot of the racial and ethnic composition and diversity of the country. The improvements we made to the 2020 Census yield a more accurate portrait of how people self-identify in response to two separate questions on Hispanic origin and race, revealing that the U.S. population is much more multiracial and more diverse than what we measured in the past.”

Race and ethnicity highlights:

  • The White population remained the largest race or ethnicity group in the United States, with 204.3 million people identifying as White alone. Overall, 235.4 million people reported White alone or in combination with another group. However, the White alone population decreased by 8.6% since 2010.
  • The Two or More Races population (also referred to as the Multiracial population) has changed considerably since 2010. The Multiracial population was measured at 9 million people in 2010 and is now 33.8 million people in 2020, a 276% increase.
  • The “in combination” multiracial populations for all race groups accounted for most of the overall changes in each racial category.
  • All of the race alone or in combination groups experienced increases. The Some Other Race alone or in combination group (49.9 million) increased 129%, surpassing the Black or African American population (46.9 million) as the second-largest race alone or in combination group.
  • The next largest racial populations were the Asian alone or in combination group (24 million), the American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination group (9.7 million), and the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination group (1.6 million).
  • The Hispanic or Latino population, which includes people of any race, was 62.1 million in 2020. The Hispanic or Latino population grew 23%, while the population that was not of Hispanic or Latino origin grew 4.3% since 2010.

Read more about the adult and under-age-18 populations, the total number of housing units, and the group quarters population. 

Information on the racial and ethnic composition of your state and county, and various measures of diversity are available in the following America Counts stories: 2020 U.S. Population More Racially and Ethnically Diverse Than Measured in 2010 and Improved Race and Ethnicity Measures Reveal U.S. Population Is Much More Multiracial.

  

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