Population Growth Data
According to the U.S. Census, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina had 5,670 Hispanic residents in 1980. They made up about one percent of Raleigh’s total population. By the year 2000, Latino residents made up six percent of Raleigh’s population, numbering approximately 72,580. In 20 years, the Latino population realized a growth of over 1,080 percent.
Raleigh and 17 other metros across the country have been dubbed “hypergrowth destinations.” In each of these 18 locations, the Hispanic population grew by more than 300 percent — or twice the national average — after 1980. Altogether, the combined Hispanic population of all these metros jumped 505 percent between 1980 and 2000.
The collection of metros represented on this interactive map includes emerging immigrant gateways such as Washington and Atlanta and several of the nation’s fastest-growing metros such as Las Vegas and Orlando. Eleven of these metros lie in the Southeast, with three North Carolina cities—Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh—epitomizing the “new economy” of the 1990s with rapid development in the finance, business services, and high-tech sectors. As a group, these Latino “hypergrowth” metros grew robustly from 1980 to 2000, posting overall population growth at a combined 54-percent rate over the two decades. All but 5 of the 18 had faster overall growth in the 1990s than the 1980s, moreover.
As a result, even the explosive new Latino growth in these cities remained a relatively modest portion of the overall population increase despite its incredible pace. In absolute terms, after all, the “hypergrowth” metros added a relatively modest 2.3 million Latinos between 1980 and 2000 at a time when their overall population increased by 11.2 million. Hispanics, in short, represented just 20 percent of the overall population increase.
But even so, the “hypergrowth” metros epitomized the sudden arrival of Latinos in new destinations. In 13 of these “hypergrowth” metros in 1980 Hispanics represented 3 percent or less of their metro populations or one quarter of a million Latinos, but by 2000 they numbered nearly 1.5 million and represented 6 percent of their collective overall populations. This underscores how, from a barely measurable minority, Latinos grew into a significant segment of the population in many places.
Atlanta provides a case in point. There, the 24,550 Latinos counted in 1980 represented just 1 percent of the metro population. But after 20 years marked by a 995 percent growth rate, Atlanta’s Latino population reached 268,851 — or 7 percent of the total.
Excerpted with permission from Report on Latino Growth in Metropolitan America, The Brookings Institution by Roberto Suro and Audrey Singer, July 2002