by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
Newly released U.S. Census figures show that Seattle is getting whiter, but is nowhere as white as some other U.S. cities.
Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, Seattle is the fifth whitest. In 2013, 67% of our population was classified as non-Hispanic white, according to the Census data, up from 65.2% in 2012. For Seattle, that is the highest percentage of white residents since 2010, and marks a reversal of the recent trend toward more non-white residents.
The whitest of the top 50 cities is Portland, with 71.4% white residents. Colorado Springs (69.6% white) is second, followed by Omaha (68.3%), and Louisville (67.3%), with Seattle rounding out the five whitest cities.
While Seattle has been the fifth whitest U.S. city for several years, we experienced a spike in our white population last year, adding more than 23,000 white people. That bumped up the total number of whites to 437,000 - a 6% increase from 2012.
Meanwhile, other groups - Asians, blacks, Latinos and Native Americans - were either stable in number, or showed a slight decline. The only group other than whites to increase was multiracial people, who now account for a substantial 5.4% of the city's population.
Asians and Pacific Islanders accounted for 13.8% of Seattle's population in 2013, African Americans 6.9%, Hispanics 6.4%, Native Americans 0.2%, and 'others' 0.3%.
Diana Canzoneri, demographer and senior policy analyst at the Seattle Planning Commission, found the new data surprising, but warned against jumping to conclusions.
'It will be important to keep an eye on these numbers to see if they signal a real trend' and not just a one-year aberration, she said.
King County, excluding Seattle, is also pretty white, but less so than the central city. The county also has a larger proportion of Hispanic residents.
Whites accounted for 61.1% of the non-Seattle county population, Asian/Pacific Islanders 17.1%, Hispanics 10.7%, African Americans 5.5%, multiracial 4.7%, Native American 0.8%, and 'others' 0.2%.
King County's white population actually decreased by 13,500 in 2013, a drop of nearly two percentage points in one year.
Detroit was the least white city among the top 50, with only 8.9% white residents. Miami followed with 9.9% white, and then El Paso (14.4%), Houston (25.8%), and San Antonio (26.1%).
While Seattle is very white, it is also very Gay. In fact, Seattle's LGBT population is estimated to be one of the largest in the country.
According to 2006 estimates by the American Community Survey and the Williams Institute, Seattle ranks eighth in total LGBT population, but second in the percentage of LGBT residents, with 12.9% of the population estimated to be LGBT.
San Francisco has the highest concentration of LGBT residents, with 15.4%. Atlanta comes third with 12.8%, followed by Minneapolis (12.5%), and Boston (12.3%) rounding out the top five. Portland comes in at number seven, with 8.8% LGBT.
In sheer numbers, New York has the most LGBT residents, but they account for only 4.5% of the population. Los Angeles is second in the number of LGBT folks, but not even in the top ten when it comes to concentration, with only 5.6% LGBT.
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