State News

N.C. population grew by 1.2 million since 2000

Posted May 14, 2009 7:34 a.m. EDT
Updated May 14, 2009 3:39 p.m. EDT

— Census data released Thursday showed the Tar Heel state added 1.2 million new residents between 2000 and 2008 -- a 14.6 percent change. Whites make up about 74 percent of that population, although minority populations are on an upward trend in the state and the nation. In all, the state had an estimated 9.2 million residents in 2008.

The census defines a minority as someone who indicates that they were either Hispanic or a race other than white alone. The 2008 census estimates used local records of births and deaths, tax records of people moving within the U.S., and census statistics on immigrants. Since the government considers "Hispanic" an ethnicity, people of Hispanic descent can be of any race.

The nation's overall minority population grew 2.3 percent in 2008 to 104.6 million, or 34 percent of the total population.

Thirty-six states had lower Hispanic growth in 2008 compared with the year before. The declines were in places where the housing bubble burst, such as Nevada and Arizona, which lost construction jobs that tend to attract immigrants.

According to the latest data, the percentage growth of Hispanics slowed from 4.0 percent in 2001 to 3.2 percent last year.

Four states -- Hawaii, New Mexico, California and Texas -- were majority-minority in 2008. No other state had more than a 43 percent minority population.

Maine and Vermont had the highest percentage of white residents (95 percent each).

California had the largest Hispanic population of any state in July 2008. It also had the largest non-Hispanic white population.

New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanics at 45 percent. The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of blacks (56 percent), followed by Mississippi (38 percent).

New York had the largest black population of any state as of July 1, 2008.