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The New Profile of America

10 key findings from the 2010 U.S. census
  • January 22 2012

What does The New America look like? According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the 2000s brought about a series of changes. The U.S. population is more diverse and older. People are moving to the South and the West, and the central cities made a comeback. 

Here are 10 key findings:


1 The total population of the U.S. on April 1, 2010 was 308,745,538, a 9.7 percent increase from 2000. The pace of growth slowed relative to the 1990s.


2 The median age in the U.S. was 37.2. The average household size was 2.58 people per household.


3 Children under age 18 made up 24 percent of the U.S. population, an all-time low. However, there were more Americans over age 65 than ever before


4 The Hispanic population accounted for almost one in six U.S. residents. The number of Hispanics grew 43 percent to 50.4 million, and was nearly double the 1990 figure.


5 Minorities accounted for 92 percent of the U.S. population growth from 2000 to 2010, with Hispanics accounting for more than half the increase.


6 The West overtook the Midwest as the second most populous region in the country behind the South.


7 Nevada experienced the fastest growth rate from 2000 to 2010 (35 percent), while Texas had the greatest numerical increase in population (4.3 million). Unlike the 1990s when every state experienced population growth, Michigan’s population decreased in the 2000s.


8 Racial and ethnic diversity is increasing, as 11 percent of the country’s 3,143 counties have become “majority minority” (less than 50 percent non-Hispanic white).


9 Areas with the fastest growth included suburbs of metropolitan areas in the South and West, such as the region around Orlando, Fla.; the "Research Triangle" area of North Carolina; the northern Virginia exurbs of Washington, D.C.; and the areas surrounding such cities as Las Vegas, Atlanta, and several cities in Texas (Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin). Many rural areas lost population, including much of the Great Plains and northern and central Appalachia.


10 One third of the U.S. population now lives in central cities, the highest proportion since 1950. 


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