February 9, 2011 | Washington Examiner | Original Article

Hispanics drive population growth in Maryland

Maryland's Hispanic population has doubled in the last decade, driven by growth in the Washington suburbs as Montgomery County's white population falls into the minority, new Census Bureau data show.

The 2010 U.S. census data mark the first time Maryland has gained more Hispanics than blacks during a 10-year period.

Fewer whites living in state than in 2000

* Includes Hispanics.

Percentages may not add up to 100 because of rounding and Hispanic/Latino category includes any race; growth is measured from population in 2000 census

Maryland's increasing diversity
Jurisdiction Non-Hispanic white / % growth Black / % growth Asian / % growth Hispanic/Latino / % growth
Maryland 54.7% / -3.9% 29.4% / +15% 5.5% / +51% 8.2% / +107%
Montgomery 49.3% / -7.8% 16.6% / +22% 13.5% / +33% 17.0% / +64%
Prince George's 22.6%* / -10% 62.0% / +7% 3.8% / +6% 14.9 / +126%
Source: U.S. Census

"Maryland is kind of a Johnny-come-lately with this Hispanic growth," said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution. "Lots of East Coast cities like Boston and New York have already been relying heavily on that growth engine [beyond] the last decade."

The state's population as a whole grew 9 percent to 5.8 million.

More than 100,000 Hispanics moved to Montgomery and Prince George's counties in the last 10 years, accounting for more than one-third of the state's population increase in that demographic.

Non-Hispanic whites now account for only 49.3 percent of Montgomery County residents as the jurisdiction's Hispanic population increased by more than half to total more than 165,000 people. Hispanics, who now account for 17 percent of Montgomery's 971,777

residents, outrank blacks as the county's largest minority population.

Prince George's Hispanic population more than doubled to roughly 130,000 residents, who now account for 15 percent of the

county's population of 863,420. On a smaller scale, Frederick County's Hispanic population nearly quadrupled in the last decade to total more than 17,000 residents. In other heavily

populated jurisdictions like Howard County and Baltimore, the Hispanic population more than doubled.

While Hispanics led the growth, other minority populations also increased while the number of white residents dropped, making Maryland a melting pot of diversity.

In the last 20 years Maryland's white population has decreased to 3.3 million, or 58 percent. In 1990, the state had 3.9 million white residents, or 71 percent of the population.

At the pace of losing 6 percentage points every decade, whites in Maryland could account for less than 50 percent of the state's population by 2025, although Frey noted population changes are not always that linear.

But with Maryland's loss in white population being focused in its youth, "we're certainly headed in that direction," he said. According to Frey, less than half of Maryland's 18-and-under population is white.

It's part of what he calls a national trend of "the aging of the white population and child-bearing ages getting older and families smaller."

Prince George's County led the way in Maryland with its white population dropping 10 percent in the last decade. Whites now account for less than 23 percent of the population there; in 1990 they made up more than 43 percent.

Baltimore was the only jurisdiction in the state that lost population, a change that likely will lose the city representation in the General Assembly, experts said. But Frey noted the loss of 30,000 residents is the smallest rate of decrease Baltimore has seen since the 1960s, helped largely by the increase in Hispanics.