Census predictions for West Michigan? Dramatic Latino growth

Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

One goal I set out to do with Latino Branding Power was not only to report on culturally relevant insights nationally, but also locally from a West Michigan perspective. Although Michigan doesn’t boast a Latino population as large as other states like those in the Southwest, here in our corner of the U.S., we are eagerly awaiting the results of the 2010 Census

A recent article in the Grand Rapids Press attempts to take a look forward to the upcoming results and compares local stats from the previous 2000 Census to recent numbers from the bureau’s 2005-09 American Community Survey. Despite an overall decrease in Michigan’s population, the numbers indicate dramatic Hispanic population growth is expected within the state as a whole, West Michigan, Kent County, and the city of Grand Rapids.

Here is a breakdown with some of the article’s key population findings:

  • The 2010 Census could find 100,000 more Hispanics counted in Michigan
  • The above would be a 30% increase from the 2000 Census
  • According to 2009 statistics, Hispanics are now the largest minority group in Kent County. The 2010 Census results may find Hispanics the largest minority group in the city of Grand Rapids as well
  • In Kent County, the Hispanic population grew from just under 40,000 in 2000 to almost 58,000 in 2009. This is nearly 1 in 10 county residents.
  • In the city of Grand Rapids, the Hispanic population grew from just under 26,000 in 2000 to 36,500 in 2009. This is about 19% of the city’s population
  • Within Grand Rapids, a narrow, mile-long area west of highway US-131 (presumably the Grandville Avenue neighborhood) is 71% Hispanic
  • The Census estimates almost 20% of Michigan’s Hispanics live in Kent and Ottawa counties
  • The combined West Michigan counties of Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan, and Van Buren account for 1 in 4 of Michigan’s Hispanics

Augmenting the article, the Grand Rapids Press provides graphics with population statistics for Kent county and communities:

We will be awaiting the details 2010 Census results to be released by April 1. Of the state population statistics released so far, many have indicated larger Hispanics counts than predicted earlier. Please visit Latino Branding Power again soon for more about the 2010 Census and what it will mean for Michigan.

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