It is no secret that the population, of the United States, is both growing and becoming increasingly diverse. A Pew Research Center analysis1 of data from the Census Bureau recently found that in 78 different counties, white majorities became minorities from 2000 to 2013. As a result, no single ethnic or racial group holds majority status in these very diverse counties.
These so-called “majority minority” counties are typically hotspots of growth, with immigration from abroad and from other parts of the country driving both increased growth and more diversity.
Today 19 of the nation’s 25 most populous counties are majority minority. The report also noted that only two counties, South Carolina’s Calhoun County and Louisiana’s West Feliciana Parish, went in the opposite direction during the same period. These two counties went from minority white to majority white, but both of them had only about 15,000 population each.
The new majority minority counties are overwhelmingly concentrated in the South, with both Georgia and Florida being particularly well-represented, the East Coast, and California. The middle portions of the country are decidedly under-represented.
What follows is a look at six diverse markets located in the new majority minority counties. This is not an exhaustive list. Efforts have been made to highlight markets in particularly promising areas, characterized by brisk growth and considerable diversity. The markets also vary in size, but the smaller markets have typically been selected because they represent counties with substantial populations, brisk growth, and considerable diversity.
All but one of the markets here presented are in the South, in keeping with the strong representation of that region on the list of 78. Reflecting the dominance of Florida and Georgia, two markets are presented for each of those states
#1 Conyers, Georgia [map]
Conyers is a town of about 15,700 in Rockdale County, Georgia, and serves as the county seat. Described1 as a mixture of small town and big city, Conyers grew by about 3.4% between 2010 and 2013. It is also very diverse, with a population that is 56.6% African-American, 24.3% non-Hispanic white, and 16.3% Hispanic/Latino.
Rockdale County as a whole2 had a population of 70,724 in 2000, with non-Hispanic whites 72.8% of the total. By 2013 the population had grown to 86,919, and non-Hispanic whites were 37.8% of the total. African-Americans are 49.5% of the population, and Hispanics/Latinos are 10.1%.
#2 Peachtree Corners, Georgia [map]
A planned community founded in 1979 as a northern suburb of Atlanta, Peachtree Corners was incorporated into Gwinnett County only in 2012. Population grew by 5.3% between 2010 and 2013, and by 6.6% between 2010 and 2014. The city is diverse, with a population3 that is 51.9% white, 22.5% African-American, and 14.1% Hispanic.
Gwinnett County grew from 595,584 people in 2000 to 859,304 people in 2013. During the same period it underwent substantial demographic4 change, as the 67.0% non-Hispanic white majority in 2000 fell to 41.6% in 2013. The rest of the population is 26.3% African-American, 20.4% Hispanic/Latino, and 11.2% Asian
#3 Manassas Park, Virginia [map]
Located in northern Virginia about 30 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., Manassas Park5 incorporated as an independent city in 1975.
In 2000 Manassas Park had a total population6 of 10,305, with non-Hispanic whites making up 67.7% of the population. By 2013 the population had grown to 16,149, and non-Hispanic whites were 39.4% of the population. The population is also 34.7% Hispanic/Latino, 15% African-American, 9.7% Asian, and 1.3% American Indian and Alaska Native.
#4 Kissimmee, Florida [map]
Located quite near such tourist attractions7 as Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, Kissimmee is the county seat and largest city of Osceola County.
Kissimmee has grown with alacrity. In 2010 the population stood at 59,682; by 2014, it had reached 66,722, a growth rate of 11.9%. The population is 26.2% white, 58.9% Hispanic/Latino, 12.4% African-American, and 3.4% Asian.
Osceola County has grown rapidly and become more diverse as well. In 2000 the population8 stood at 174,146, and non-Hispanic whites were 59.9%. In 2013, the population reached 298,504, and non-Hispanic whites were 37.3%. Osceola Country’s population in 2013 was also 48.6% Hispanic/Latino, 13.1% African-American, and 3.0% Asian
#5 Waldorf, Maryland [map]
An unincorporated city in Charles County, Maryland, Waldorf had a population of 67,752 as of 2010. This represents substantial growth since the 2000 census, when the population stood9 at 57,357.
While 2013 and 2014 data are not available from the U.S. Census, all indications10 point to a fast-growing and increasingly diverse population. The African-American population rose from 17,330 in 2000, 30.21% of the total, to 36,152 in 2010, 53.4% of the total. Over the same period, the white population, including Hispanic/Latino whites, fell from 36,053 (62.86% of the population) to 24,052 (35.0%).
As of 2010, Waldorf’s population was 53.4% African-American, 33.2% non-Hispanic white, 5.9% Hispanic/Latino, and 3.9% Asian.
Charles County as a whole11 went from 121,229 in 2000, with 67.3% non-Hispanic whites, to 152,864 in 2013, with 45.7% non-Hispanic whites. The population is also 43.1% African-American, 5.0% Hispanic/Latino, and 3.3% Asian.
#6 Fort Lauderdale, Florida [map]
A popular travelers’ destination, Fort Lauderdale12 offers beaches, arts, culture, and plenty of events. It is also the largest city in Florida’s Broward County.
In 2010, Fort Lauderdale had a population of 165,521. By 2014 this grew to 176,013, a growth rate of 6.3%. As of 2010, the population was 52.5% non-Hispanic white, 31.0% African-American, 13.7% Hispanic/Latino, and 1.5% Asian.
Broward County is also growing very quickly, and becoming more diverse in the process. In 2000 the county had a population13 of 1,630,600, 58.3% of which were non-Hispanic white. By 2013 the population had grown to 1,838,844, and non-Hispanic whites accounted for 40.8%. Broward is also 28.5% African-American, 26.9% Hispanic/Latino, and 3.6% Asian.