Illustration of hands raised by people of many races

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2020 Census Reveals Most Diverse U.S. Population Ever

August 13, 2021

The U.S. population is more multiracial than ever before, according to newly released 2020 Census Bureau data. People of color represented 43% of the total U.S. population in 2020. That is up from 34% in 2010.

The percentage of non-Hispanic whites has dropped in that time, marking the largest decrease of any race or ethnicity. Non-Hispanic whites dropped to 57% of the U.S. population in 2020; in 2010, the category accounted for 63% of the population.

The number of Americans who identified as Hispanic or Latino or as multiracial posted the most growth. In California, the Hispanic and Latino population has for the first time become the largest racial or ethnic group in the state. In California for 2020, the Hispanic or Latino community comprised 39.4% of the population compared to 34.7% of the non-Hispanic white population in the state.

Home Buyers Get More Diverse

The finding that diversity is increasing in the country has been echoed in the housing market. Hispanics are expected to grow their homeownership numbers, forming an estimated 70% of net new households through 2040, according to a report this year from the Urban Institute.

The census data also found the Asian population rising. About 19.9 million people identified as Asian in the 2020 census, up from 14.7 million in 2010. The Asian population increased by nearly 36% between 2010 and 2020. From 1980 to 2019, Asian American households saw the largest homeownership rate increase of any racial or ethnic group, from 52% in 1980 to 60% in 2019, according to the Urban Institute.

The Black or African American population in the U.S. has grown to 41.1 million in 2020, up from 38.9 million in 2010. However, the 44% Black homeownership rate in 2020 shows no gain since 2010. The Great Recession hit the Black population harder than other ethnic groups (PDF), causing many to lose their homes to foreclosure and driving the homeownership rate backwards. NAR is participating in the Black Homeownership Collaborative, which is seeking to increase Black homeownership by a net 3 million by 2030.