The percentage change of residents within a geographic area, broken down by racial and ethnic groups.
Population measures provide insight on the changing size and face of communities. The racial and ethnic composition of a community can offer insight into its levels of diversity, which can bring with it challenges and opportunities.
Essex County has grown far more diverse since 2000. Its Hispanic population grew the fastest, 105%, from about 79,900 residents in 2000 to 164,000 in 2015-19. The African American population increased 78%, from 18,800 to 33,400, and Asian residents grew 59%, from 16,900 to 26,900. The white population was largely stable and still makes up a large majority, with 626,100 residents.
Massachusetts experienced similar changes, but compared to Essex, it had smaller increases in its Hispanic and African American populations (89% and 52%, respectively) and a larger increase in its Asian population (90%). Racial and ethnic minority populations also increased at the national level, but at a slower pace than either Essex or Massachusetts. Unlike the County or state, the U.S. also experienced an 11% increase in the white population during this period.
While white residents were the largest racial group in every municipality in Essex County in 2015-19, some places were more diverse than others. Lawrence is a particular center for the Hispanic population: with about 64,500 Hispanic residents (who may be of any race, including white; see note below), the City accounted for approximately 39% of all Hispanic residents in Essex County. Lynn accounted for nearly 24% of the County's Hispanic population.
No comparison county had an increase in Hispanic population as large as Essex between 2000 and 2015-19. Only Middlesex, MA was close, with an 92% increase, followed by Westchester, NY (66%) and Lake, IL (64%). While Middlesex had growth in its African American population (74%) that was fairly similar to Essex, increases were substantially smaller in Westchester (10%) and Lake (6%). Compared to Essex, there were larger increases in the Asian population in both Lake (116%) and Middlesex (108%), while there was less growth for this group in Westchester (41%). Only Lake had a slight increase in white population (3%), while the other comparison counties had slight decreases.
The composition of the U.S. population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse as people of color grow in representation and will be a majority within the next two decades. Latino, Asian and multiracial groups are experiencing the largest growth with Latino's rapid increase caused largely by immigration. Latino immigrants who enter the U.S. tend to be younger and of child-bearing age. Latinas in the U.S. have higher fertility rates than Black and white women. Black, Latino and multiracial populations are also experiencing higher rates of births relative to deaths, while whites are experiencing the opposite.
Rate is percentage change from 2000. The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.
The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.