Hispanic Population Growth and the Mission of the Church

2010 United States Census form
Image by no22a via Flickr

The U.S. Hispanic market has grown substantially over the past ten years according to the 2010 Census.  in fact, in California Hispanic population growth made up more than 90% of total state population growth over the decade.

The U.S. Census 2010 reported that U.S. population increased by 27.3 million people, or 9.7% from 2000 to 2010, down from 13.2% growth the previous decade. More than half of the 9.7% population growth was in the Hispanic population which increased from 13% to 16% by 2010. That translates into 50.5 million Hispanics in 2010 compared to 35.3 million from the 2000 census or 55.7% of the total growth in the U.S. population during the decade.

U.S. Hispanic population growth occurred well beyond the traditional states. South Carolina’s Hispanic population grew by 148% increase to 5% of the total state population in 2010 from 2% in 2000. Alabama saw an increase of 145% to 4% from 2% of total population.  Tennessee was third with a 134% increase, with Hispanics now comprising 5% of its total population up from 2%. Kentucky was fourth, with a 122%, or 3% up from 1 percent. Arkansas ranked fifth with 114%, followed by North Carolina with 111% and Maryland and Mississippi with 106%each. South Dakota had a 103% increase in its Hispanic population.

While the total numbers of Hispanics in each of these states is not large, the trend reflects the broadening diversity of the US population. Meanwhile, states such as California and Florida still continued to attract Hispanics, but at a lower rate than other states. California Hispanic population grew 28% during the decade with Hispanics now comprising 38% of the Golden State population up from 32% in 2000.  But 90% of California’s overall 10% population growth over the last decade was Hispanic.

Implications for 20/20 Vision

The work of the church is being influenced and enriched by the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity.  Here in Contra Costa County the fastest growing area of the county over the decade was the East CoCo market around Antioch and Brentwood with a large share of that growth in the Hispanic population.

While the recession has taken a toll in housing growth and population everywhere the East county area has been hit hardest.  This is a key area of focus for the Diocese of California and St. Timothy’s can and should be actively involved. To our East and South the ethnic population make-up is more Asian than Hispanic.  So St. Timothy’s is located in the midst of a great melting pot—and a great symphony of voices.

Our new rector must be open to such diversity and creative in engaging the parish community in the opportunities it brings.  And like it or not, St. Timothy’s will be key to the success of the Diocese of California area ministry strategies for congregational vitality.

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