The latest figures from the U.S. Census confirm that Maine is still the whitest state in the nation, but the percentages are getting closer.
I don't think this statistic comes as any surprise to Maine residents. While we're seeing more diverse faces in our communities, the population is overwhelmingly Caucasian. Census data released on Thursday supports that fact. Out of a population of 1,362,359 people, 90.8% are white. Diversity numbers are increasing, but slowly, with the statistics showing that 95.2% of Mainers were white a decade ago. This seems to be a New England trend, with Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire representing three of the four whitest states in the nation. In third place was West Virginia.
Maine's Hispanic population has grown slightly, from 1.3% to 2% of the population. The Black population increased from 1.2% to 1.9%, which is a 64% jump. Only North and South Dakota have seen larger jumps in their Black populations.
The counties with the most diverse populations are Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Washington counties. The least diverse counties are Lincoln, Waldo, and Somerset counties. Census numbers break down as follows:
- White Alone 90.8%
- Black or African American Alone 1.9%
- American Indian & Alaska Native 0.6%
- Asian Alone 1.2%
- Other Races Alone 0.7%
- 2 or More Races 4.7%
These numbers reflect the 2020 census and are being released a little later than expected due to the pandemic. The statistics are released in degrees, so not all the categories have yet been released. They're interesting to look at, and hold surprises. I knew our state was not very diverse but thought the percentages were getting closer together faster than they are. The good news is that they're going in the right direction for a more culturally diverse state in the future.
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