March 8, 2011 | The Daily Pilot | Original Article

Census: Hispanic population grows in Newport-Mesa

The Hispanic populations of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach increased in the last decade, U.S. Census data released Tuesday show.

The local numbers reflect a statewide trend, showing that California is becoming more Latino, but the Newport-Mesa area did not see the kinds of increases reflected in inland sections of the state. Like the rest of the state, Newport Beach also saw a spike in its Asian population while Costa Mesa recorded only modest growth.

Costa Mesa saw its Hispanic population increase to 35.8% in 2010, up 5% from 31.8% in 2000.

The city recorded a decline in its white population to 51.8% from 56.8%.

Costa Mesa's black and "other" populations remained statistically unchanged at 1.2% and .2 %, respectively. Asians grew a percentage point to 7%.

Pacific Islanders dropped from .6% to .4%. The Native American population dipped slightly from .3% to .2%.

Those of two or more races ticked up slightly to 2.5% from 2.3%.

Costa Mesa's overall population grew slightly, from 108,724 to 109,960. Most of the residential development in the last decade has been "in-fill," as Costa Mesa is largely built-out.

That was not the case in Newport Beach, which recorded a 21.6% increase in overall population from 70,032 to 85,186.

Newport Councilwoman Leslie Daigle attributed the population gain largely to Newport Coast and Santa Ana Heights becoming part of the city.

"The annexations gave a big lift to the city's property tax base," she said, adding that property tax revenues increased from $24 million in 2001 to $57 million in 2010.

Newport saw a 53% increase in its Hispanic population, which went from 4.7% to 7.2%. The Asian population, which saw a significant increase to 7% from 3.9%, is now on par with Latinos.

The white population declined to 82.3% from 89%.

Other populations saw modest gains or no statistical changes. Newport's black population increased to .7% from .5%. Native American and Pacific Islanders remained unchanged at .2% and .1%, respectively.

Those of two or more races increased from 1.4% to 2.3%.