Five Florida counties have flipped from majority-white to majority-minority in their racial composition since the turn of the century, according to an analysis of U.S. census data published by the Pew Research Center.
Pew looked only at counties with 10,000 people or more, which represent 77 percent of the nation’s counties and 99 percent of the U.S. population.
The change was most dramatic in Osceola County south of Orlando, where non-Hispanic whites comprised 60 percent of the population in 2000 but 31 percent in 2018 – a decline of 29 percent. Broward County followed with a decline of 23 percent, reflecting a drop in the white population from 59 percent to 36 percent.
Orange County saw a decline of 18 percent; whites comprised 58 percent of the population there in 2000 but 40 percent in 2018. Whites made up 64 percent of Hillsborough County’s population in in 2000 and 48 percent as of last year, a decline of 15 percent.
Finally, Hardee County saw an 8 percent decline in whites’ proportion of its population – from 55 percent in 2000 to 47 percent in 2018.
Florida boasts two additional, longstanding, minority-majority counties – Miami-Dade, which is 14.5 percent white, and Gadsden in the Panhandle, which is 32.9 percent white, according to census data analyzed by Statistical Atlas. Hispanics comprise nearly 65 percent of Miami-Dade’s population, and African Americans nearly 56 percent in Gadsden, according to additional U.S. Census Bureau data.
Broward County’s non-white population splits between African Americans, at 28 percent, and Hispanics, at 26.5 percent. Hispanics comprise 48 percent of Osceola’s non-whites. In Orange, the split is 28 percent Hispanics and 21 percent African American. In Hillsborough, it’s 25.5 percent Hispanic and 16.6 percent African American. The data don’t include a breakdown for Hardee County.
“The future racial and ethnic composition of the U.S. has been a subject of debate, due in part to the growing number of Americans with varied backgrounds – and how these Americans identify themselves,” the Pew report says. “The number of multiracial Americans is rising, for example, and in a recent Pew Research Center survey, about half of U.S. Hispanic adults identified their race as white.”