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Census: Latinos, Asians gain in population on Long Island

William H. Frey is a Ph.D demographer and

William H. Frey is a Ph.D demographer and sociologist specializing in U.S. demographics. Credit: Washington Post/Getty Images / The Washington Post

Mirroring the nation, Long Island’s population rose last year, with gains among Latinos and Asians outpacing those of whites and blacks, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

Nassau again edged out Suffolk in growth, as the western county’s total population hit 1.36 million in 2015, up from 1.34 million in 2010.

Suffolk’s headcount only rose to 1.5 million from 1.49 million in that period.

The total national population was 321.4 million in 2015, up from 318.9 million in 2014 and 309.3 million in 2010.

The national data also pointed to an increasingly complicated generation gap.

The 61 million people born since 2000 are the most diverse: 49 percent belong to a “race or ethnic minority,” the U.S. Census said.

In contrast, the comparable figure for the 83.7 million millenials born between 1982 and 2000 was 44.5 percent.

Seventy-five percent of those 55 and older are white, noted William Frey, demographer and senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

“The white share of the population is going down, and we’re heading toward the 2020 census [when] it’ll probably be 40 percent of the population,” Frey said. “That’ll be the benchmark — and we might hit that sooner, according to the numbers.”

“This aging of the white population is fairly pervasive. These are two ends of the same coin, we’re having this diversity largely among the young population ticking up the age structure, at the same time as the white population [ages].”

New York bears a few distinctions: Last year, it lost 252,000 whites, more than any other state, he said. The state’s population is 56 percent white.

The greater New York metropolitan area, which spans Newark and Jersey City, last year led the nation in drawing both Latinos, 431,000, and Asians, 321,000, Frey found.

In four states and the District of Columbia, whites are the minority — Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas, Frey said.

The sole U.S. county where most people were at least 65 years old was Florida’s Sumter, where 54.8 percent had reached that age in 2015, the Census Bureau said.

The nation now has 47.8 million of these seniors, up from 46.2 million in 2014.

The report also revealed that the growth of the Latino population still lags behind that of Asians, Frey said. His analysis showed the number of Asians climbed 2.2 million since 2010, versus the 1.6 million increase in Latinos over the same period.

Nassau’s Hispanic population rose to 224,000 in 2015 from 195,000 in 2010, a Newsday analysis showed.

In Suffolk, the equivalent gain was 280,000 versus 246,000.

Nassau also drew more Asians: 126,000 in 2015 from 104,000 in 2010. In Suffolk, the number rose to 61,000 from 51,000.

Echoes of the 2007-08 recession can be seen, as a lingering economic malaise appears to have slowed the migration of African-Americans from the Northeast to the South, though Atlanta remains a magnet, Frey said.

Perhaps reflecting the often-younger age of Long Island’s diverse populations, there were many more female whites than men in 2015: 958,000 versus 909,000, according to the Newsday analysis.

That is a greater gender gap than for blacks — 140,000 versus 123,000; Hispanics — 258,000 versus 246,000; and Asians — 97,000 versus 90,000.

The latest U.S. Census report showed the Asians and Latinos are driving the population growth.

321,419 million

is the nation’s population in 2015, up from 318,907 million in 2014 and 309, 347 million in 2010.

2.2 million is

the increase in the Asian population from 2010 to 2015.

1.6 million is

the rise in the Latino population during the same period.

1.36 million is

Nassau’s population in 2015, up from 1.34 million in 2010.

1.5 million is

Suffolk’s population in 2015 up from 1.49 million in 2010

252,00 is

the number of whites

New York state lost during the same period — more than any other state.

74 percent

of the country’s 3,141 counties lost whites from 2010 to 2015.

At least 5 percent of the population is Latino in 42 percent of the 3,141 U.S. counties.

Sources: The U.S. Census and William Frey, demographer and senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank.

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