Kern County’s population increased by 8.3 percent from 2010 to 2020, new data from the U.S. census revealed on Thursday. The county reached an overall population of 909,235, increasing by 69,604.
The rate of increase roughly corresponded to much of California, which mostly saw population increases of less than 10 percent over the last decade.
For the first time, a majority of Kern County residents reported being of Hispanic origin, with 54.9 percent indicating they were either Hispanic or Latino. The 2010 census showed Hispanics and Latinos made up 49.2 percent of the county’s population.
Individuals who marked white only on the census accounted for 40.9 percent of the population. Other races included Black, at 5.5 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native, at 2 percent; Asian, at 5.1 percent; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, at 0.2 percent. Around 30.2 percent of Kern County residents reported “some other race” to the census and 16.1 reported two or more races.
The figures followed the national trend, which showed the United States becoming more diverse from 2010 to 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau’s “diversity index,” which measures the probability that two people chosen at random will be from different racial and ethnic groups, increased from 54.9 percent in 2010 to 61.1 percent.
Overall, whites made up 57.8 percent of the U.S. population in the 2020 census, Hispanics and Latinos made up 18.7 percent, and Blacks made up 12.1 percent. This is a change from 2010, when whites made up 63.7 percent of the population, Hispanics and Latinos were 16.3 percent and Blacks were 12.2 percent.
In California, Hispanics and Latinos hold the highest proportion of the population, at 39.4 percent. Whites are the next highest race, at 30.7 percent, and Asians are third, at 15.1 percent.
In 2010, whites held 40.1 percent of the state population, Hispanics and Latinos were 37.6 percent and Asians were 12.8 percent.
California is now the second state with a larger Hispanic and Latino population than white, after New Mexico.
Other data provided during the initial release of census data included the percentage of occupied housing units. Kern County’s rate stood at 93.5 percent. Out of 301,009 total units, 281,498 are occupied, according to the census.