Denver metro less white, more multiracial than ever

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — Residents of the Denver metro area had more options on the 2020 census than in the past, and the results are a more multiracial tinge to the metro area’s demographics.

Counties did grow in certain groups more than others, but the real growth was in the number of people identifying as two or more races.

The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro statistical area is less white than it has ever been in the past, with 66.72% of people in the Denver metro area’s counties identifying as white alone.

Counties now range from just above half white to nearly all white. Clear Creek County had the highest percentage of white alone residents at 88.6%, while Adams County had the lowest with 55.8%.

All counties in the Denver metro area saw their white alone population percentage fall in the last decade. The average county population is 9.7% less white than it was ten years ago.

Adams County became less white at twice the rate of any other county in the metro area.

Between the 2010 census and the 2020 census, the percentage of Adams County that identified as white alone fell by 17.5%. Neighboring Arapahoe County’s white alone population percentage dropped 12%.

The de-whitening of the Denver metro area didn’t come from any one race, but rather an increase in the multiracial categories.

Partly, this reflects the way the U.S. Census Bureau asked questions about race and ethnic identity for the 2020 count.

The new survey had two categories – one that quizzed on race and the the other that quizzed Hispanic or Latino identity, which can apply to any race. The new questions also allowed respondents to select a race alone or a race in combination with another – which boosted how many people could now identify as two or more races.

Every single county saw the largest demographic increase in the “two or more races” category.

Some counties actually became less racially diverse in certain ways. Denver and Elbert counties have smaller proportions of Black or African American residents than ten years ago.

Hispanic or Latino populations did not shift as much as the percentages of race.

Every county except Denver itself now have a greater amount of their populations identifying as Hispanic or Latino than ten years ago, but on average they only grew 1.65%.

Adams County led, with a 3.7% growth in the Hispanic or Latino population percentage. Denver’s proportion of Hispanic or Latino residents went down 3.9%.

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