Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

In a rising number of U.S. counties, Hispanic and black Americans are the majority

Non-Hispanic white Americans account for 60% of the U.S. population, but in a growing number of counties, a majority of residents are Hispanic or black, reflecting the nation’s changing demographics and shifting migration patterns.

In 2018, there were 151 U.S. counties where Hispanics, blacks or two much smaller racial and ethnic groups – American Indians and Alaska Natives – made up a majority of the population, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. That was an increase from 110 such counties in 2000. The 41 counties that joined the list between 2000 and 2018 are all majority Hispanic or majority black. (For a full list of these counties, see the sortable table at the end of the post.)

In 151 U.S. counties, Hispanic, black or indigenous people are the majority race or ethnicity

Overall, 69 counties were majority Hispanic in 2018, 72 were majority black and 10 were majority American Indian or Alaska Native. The majority American Indian or Alaska Native counties are unique in that most have experienced overall population declines since 2000, even as the share of American Indian or Alaska Native residents in these counties remained fairly flat.

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There were no U.S. counties where Asians accounted for more than half of the population, but in Honolulu County, Hawaii, the population was 42% Asian and 9% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

The South and Southwest of the United States hold most of the counties where Hispanic, black or indigenous people make up a majority of residents. These counties represent just 5% of the 3,142 counties in the U.S. and about half of the country’s 293 majority nonwhite counties (a figure that includes counties where multiple racial and ethnic groups combine to account for a majority).

How we did this

About this analysis

This analysis includes only counties with a minimum population of 10,000 in 2018. These counties represent 77% of the nation’s 3,142 counties and include 99% of the U.S. population.

For this analysis, a majority is defined as more than 50% of the population.

Rapid growth in majority Hispanic counties

The number of majority Hispanic counties doubled between 2000 and 2018, from 34 to 69 – mostly in the South and West. In all but four of these 69 counties, the Hispanic share of the population grew during that period. The few counties that experienced declines saw only slight decreases, and no county that was majority Hispanic in 2000 fell below 50% Hispanic by 2018.

Since 2000, number of majority Hispanic counties in the U.S. has doubled

These trends are in line with the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population as a whole, which reached a new high in 2018 even as its rate of growth slowed. The Latino population grew at a faster rate than most other racial or ethnic groups during the 2000s, due to relatively high birth rates among Hispanic women and immigration from Latin America.

Related: See Pew Research Center’s U.S. population projections through 2065, which provide a look at immigration’s impact on population growth and on racial and ethnic change.

In 2018, Texas was home to the 10 counties in the U.S. with the largest shares of Hispanic residents. Starr County, home to about 65,000 people overall, had the largest concentration of Hispanic residents, at 96% of the population. Other counties where Hispanics accounted for an especially large share of residents included Webb (95%), Hidalgo (92%) and Cameron counties (90%) – all in Texas.

The Hispanic populations of some larger U.S. counties also grew between 2000 and 2018. San Bernardino County, California (population 2.2 million) was the most populous county to become majority Hispanic during this span. Osceola County, Florida (home to about 370,000) saw the largest percentage point increase in Hispanic residents during this time (26 points, rising from 29% to 55%).

The migrating U.S. black population

While the black share of the total U.S. population has not changed substantially over the last two decades, the number of majority black counties in the U.S. grew from 65 to 72 between 2000 and 2018. One contributing factor may be migration of black Americans from the North to the South and from cities into suburbs.

Majority black U.S. counties are primarily in the South

There are now 15 majority black counties that were not majority black in 2000. Among them, Rockdale County, Georgia, located about half an hour outside Atlanta, had the largest percentage point increase in the share of black residents (from 18% in 2000 to 55% in 2018). With about 930,000 residents, Shelby County, Tennessee, which contains Memphis, was the county with the largest population to become majority black.

The 10 counties with the highest shares of black residents in 2018 were in Mississippi (seven counties) Alabama (two) and Virginia (one). In these 10 counties, about 70% or more residents were black.

Meanwhile, eight counties that were majority black in 2000 are no longer. Three of these are large U.S. cities that the Census Bureau includes in its county estimates: Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Virginia; and St. Louis, Missouri. Washington (home to roughly 702,000 residents in 2018) saw a 19% increase in total population during that period, while its black population decreased by 9%. The city’s share of black residents declined by 15 percentage points, from 60% to 45%.

Majority American Indian or Alaska Native counties

In 2018, there were eight U.S. counties where more than half of the population was American Indian; two other counties were majority Alaska Native.

In 10 U.S. counties, indigenous people make up more than half of residents

While majority Hispanic and black counties are growing in number, these predominantly American Indian or Alaska Native counties have experienced net population loss from 2000 to 2018. And one county that was majority American Indian or Alaska Native in 2000 is no longer: San Juan County, Utah, where the share of American Indian residents fell 8 percentage points, from 55% to 47%.

All 10 majority American Indian counties are located on or near reservation land in the Midwest and the West, and most have populations of fewer than 20,000 people. The exceptions are McKinley County, New Mexico, and Apache County, Arizona, both of which are home to about 72,000 people.

The two counties where the majority of residents were Alaska Native are both in rural Alaska: Bethel Census Area (population of roughly 18,000) and Nome Census Area (population of about 10,000).


Population in U.S. counties where Hispanic, black or indigenous people are a large share of residents

State County % of population that was one racial/ethnic group other than white in 2000 % of population that was one racial/ethnic group other than white in 2018 Largest racial/ethnic group, 2018
Alabama Bullock County 72.6% 69.5% Black
Alabama Dallas County 63.0% 70.0% Black
Alabama Hale County 59.2% 57.8% Black
Alabama Macon County 84.3% 80.0% Black
Alabama Marengo County 51.4% 51.1% Black
Alabama Montgomery County 48.5% 58.5% Black
Alabama Sumter County 72.4% 71.4% Black
Alabama Wilcox County 71.4% 70.7% Black
Alaska Bethel Census Area 81.7% 82.3% American Indian/Alaska Native
Alaska Nome Census Area 75.0% 74.1% American Indian/Alaska Native
Arizona Apache County 76.5% 73.2% American Indian/Alaska Native
Arizona Santa Cruz County 80.8% 83.4% Hispanic
Arizona Yuma County 50.5% 64.3% Hispanic
Arkansas Chicot County 53.5% 53.4% Black
Arkansas Crittenden County 46.9% 53.7% Black
Arkansas Jefferson County 49.4% 56.8% Black
Arkansas Phillips County 58.6% 61.4% Black
Arkansas St. Francis County 48.7% 52.3% Black
California Colusa County 46.5% 60.3% Hispanic
California Fresno County 44.0% 53.5% Hispanic
California Imperial County 72.2% 84.6% Hispanic
California Kern County 38.4% 54.0% Hispanic
California Kings County 43.6% 55.0% Hispanic
California Madera County 44.3% 58.3% Hispanic
California Merced County 45.3% 60.2% Hispanic
California Monterey County 46.8% 59.1% Hispanic
California San Benito County 47.9% 60.6% Hispanic
California San Bernardino County 39.2% 54.0% Hispanic
California Tulare County 50.8% 65.2% Hispanic
District of Columbia District of Columbia 59.9% 44.9% Black
Florida Gadsden County 57.0% 55.1% Black
Florida Hendry County 39.6% 54.3% Hispanic
Florida Miami-Dade County 57.3% 69.1% Hispanic
Florida Osceola County 29.4% 55.3% Hispanic
Georgia Bibb County 47.2% 55.0% Black
Georgia Burke County 50.8% 46.9% Black
Georgia Clayton County 51.4% 69.9% Black
Georgia DeKalb County 54.3% 53.7% Black
Georgia Dougherty County 60.0% 70.3% Black
Georgia Early County 47.8% 51.0% Black
Georgia Jefferson County 56.0% 52.4% Black
Georgia Macon County 59.2% 59.8% Black
Georgia Richmond County 49.5% 56.0% Black
Georgia Rockdale County 18.1% 55.4% Black
Georgia Sumter County 48.8% 52.4% Black
Georgia Washington County 53.1% 53.3% Black
Kansas Finney County 43.3% 50.5% Hispanic
Kansas Ford County 37.7% 55.5% Hispanic
Kansas Seward County 42.1% 62.0% Hispanic
Louisiana Claiborne Parish 47.1% 51.6% Black
Louisiana Madison Parish 60.2% 62.4% Black
Louisiana Orleans Parish 66.9% 59.1% Black
Louisiana St. Helena Parish 51.9% 51.9% Black
Louisiana St. John the Baptist Parish 44.6% 57.0% Black
Louisiana West Feliciana Parish 50.1% 44.3% Black
Maryland Baltimore city 64.2% 61.9% Black
Maryland Prince George’s County 62.6% 61.9% Black
Mississippi Adams County 52.5% 52.4% Black
Mississippi Bolivar County 64.8% 63.6% Black
Mississippi Clay County 56.1% 58.5% Black
Mississippi Coahoma County 68.9% 76.6% Black
Mississippi Copiah County 50.7% 51.2% Black
Mississippi Hinds County 60.9% 72.4% Black
Mississippi Holmes County 78.0% 82.0% Black
Mississippi Jasper County 52.7% 53.0% Black
Mississippi Jefferson Davis County 57.1% 59.6% Black
Mississippi Kemper County 57.7% 60.7% Black
Mississippi Leflore County 67.3% 74.0% Black
Mississippi Marshall County 50.1% 47.0% Black
Mississippi Noxubee County 68.9% 71.8% Black
Mississippi Pike County 47.3% 53.1% Black
Mississippi Sunflower County 69.5% 73.2% Black
Mississippi Tallahatchie County 59.0% 56.7% Black
Mississippi Washington County 64.3% 71.9% Black
Mississippi Yazoo County 53.6% 56.7% Black
Missouri St. Louis city 51.1% 45.6% Black
Montana Big Horn County 58.4% 62.6% American Indian/Alaska Native
Montana Glacier County 61.0% 63.0% American Indian/Alaska Native
Montana Roosevelt County 55.0% 58.0% American Indian/Alaska Native
New Mexico Bernalillo County 42.0% 50.3% Hispanic
New Mexico Chaves County 43.8% 57.2% Hispanic
New Mexico Doña Ana County 63.4% 68.6% Hispanic
New Mexico Grant County 48.8% 50.7% Hispanic
New Mexico Lea County 39.7% 59.4% Hispanic
New Mexico Luna County 57.8% 67.6% Hispanic
New Mexico McKinley County 73.4% 73.9% American Indian/Alaska Native
New Mexico Rio Arriba County 72.9% 71.2% Hispanic
New Mexico San Miguel County 78.0% 77.5% Hispanic
New Mexico Santa Fe County 49.0% 51.1% Hispanic
New Mexico Taos County 58.0% 56.9% Hispanic
New Mexico Valencia County 54.9% 61.0% Hispanic
New York Bronx County 48.4% 56.4% Hispanic
North Carolina Bertie County 62.1% 60.7% Black
North Carolina Edgecombe County 57.2% 57.2% Black
North Carolina Halifax County 52.3% 53.1% Black
North Carolina Hertford County 59.3% 60.3% Black
North Carolina Northampton County 59.4% 56.9% Black
North Carolina Vance County 48.0% 50.5% Black
North Carolina Warren County 54.4% 50.6% Black
North Dakota Rolette County 72.5% 76.6% American Indian/Alaska Native
South Carolina Bamberg County 62.2% 59.8% Black
South Carolina Clarendon County 53.0% 46.9% Black
South Carolina Fairfield County 58.9% 57.0% Black
South Carolina Hampton County 55.4% 52.7% Black
South Carolina Jasper County 52.5% 41.0% Black
South Carolina Lee County 63.4% 63.6% Black
South Carolina Marion County 56.1% 56.3% Black
South Carolina Marlboro County 50.6% 50.6% Black
South Carolina Orangeburg County 60.7% 61.6% Black
South Carolina Williamsburg County 66.0% 64.4% Black
South Dakota Oglala Lakota County 93.2% 89.5% American Indian/Alaska Native
South Dakota Todd County 84.5% 82.6% American Indian/Alaska Native
Tennessee Haywood County 50.9% 50.2% Black
Tennessee Shelby County 48.5% 53.6% Black
Texas Andrews County 40.0% 56.6% Hispanic
Texas Atascosa County 58.6% 64.7% Hispanic
Texas Bee County 53.9% 59.3% Hispanic
Texas Bexar County 54.3% 60.5% Hispanic
Texas Caldwell County 40.4% 53.0% Hispanic
Texas Cameron County 84.4% 89.8% Hispanic
Texas Dawson County 48.2% 58.1% Hispanic
Texas Deaf Smith County 57.4% 73.5% Hispanic
Texas Dimmit County 85.0% 87.4% Hispanic
Texas Duval County 88.0% 89.1% Hispanic
Texas Ector County 42.4% 61.3% Hispanic
Texas El Paso County 78.2% 83.0% Hispanic
Texas Frio County 73.8% 79.3% Hispanic
Texas Gonzales County 39.6% 51.5% Hispanic
Texas Hale County 47.9% 59.7% Hispanic
Texas Hidalgo County 88.4% 92.4% Hispanic
Texas Jim Wells County 75.7% 80.4% Hispanic
Texas Karnes County 47.4% 55.3% Hispanic
Texas Kleberg County 65.4% 73.4% Hispanic
Texas Lamb County 43.5% 55.9% Hispanic
Texas Maverick County 95.0% 95.2% Hispanic
Texas Medina County 45.5% 52.4% Hispanic
Texas Moore County 47.5% 56.3% Hispanic
Texas Nueces County 55.8% 64.2% Hispanic
Texas Pecos County 61.0% 68.8% Hispanic
Texas Reeves County 73.4% 75.0% Hispanic
Texas San Patricio County 49.4% 58.4% Hispanic
Texas Starr County 97.5% 96.4% Hispanic
Texas Terry County 44.1% 55.9% Hispanic
Texas Uvalde County 65.9% 72.1% Hispanic
Texas Val Verde County 75.5% 82.5% Hispanic
Texas Ward County 42.0% 54.3% Hispanic
Texas Webb County 94.3% 95.5% Hispanic
Texas Willacy County 85.7% 88.4% Hispanic
Texas Zapata County 85.4% 94.6% Hispanic
Texas Zavala County 91.2% 93.9% Hispanic
Utah San Juan County 55.2% 47.4% American Indian/Alaska Native
Virginia Brunswick County 56.7% 54.6% Black
Virginia Danville city 44.0% 50.5% Black
Virginia Greensville County 59.7% 59.0% Black
Virginia Petersburg city 78.7% 76.3% Black
Virginia Portsmouth city 50.4% 53.3% Black
Virginia Richmond city 57.2% 46.8% Black
Virginia Sussex County 62.0% 56.1% Black
Washington Adams County 47.1% 64.3% Hispanic
Washington Franklin County 46.6% 53.5% Hispanic
Note: This analysis includes only counties with 10,000 or more residents in 2018. These counties account for 77% of the nation’s 3,142 counties and 99% of the U.S. population.
Source: Pew Research Center analysis of 2000 decennial census and 2018 Census Bureau population estimates.