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CENSUS: Alameda grows slightly on Asian boom

Submitted by on 1, March 9, 2011 – 12:03 am2 Comments

Alameda’s population grew slightly over the last decade, a growth that was powered largely by the Island’s rising Asian population, U.S. Census data released on Tuesday show.

The Island boasted 73,812 residents in 2010, up 2 percent from a 2000 population of 72,259, census data show. The increase was fueled largely by Asian residents, whose numbers grew by 22 percent over the last decade.

Asian residents made up 31.3 percent of Alameda’s population in 2010, compared to 26.2 percent in 2000. By contrast, whites made up 50.1 percent of the Island’s population in 2010, down from 57 percent in 2000. Alameda’s African American population rose slightly, and its share of the total community grew from 6.2 percent in 2000 to 6.5 percent in 2010. The percentage of residents who claimed two or more races also grew, from 6.1 percent of the population in 2000 to 7.1 percent in 2010.

Alameda’s Latino population also grew, with 11 percent of Island residents declaring Latino heritage in 2010, up from 9.3 percent in 2000. The Census Bureau counts Latino heritage separately from its race counts, and people claiming Latino heritage can be of any race.

Don Lim, president of the Harbor Bay Intercultural Committee on Bay Farm Island, attributed the growth to Alameda’s good schools, good housing, low crime and revitalized downtown. He said many people move here from Oakland, while others come from overseas, learning about Alameda by word of mouth.

“The housing is good here, there’s less crime in Alameda, and schools. They want their kids to go to the top schools,” Lim said.

The Island’s population growth follows a 10-year decline from 1990, when 76,459 people called Alameda home.

California’s 2010 population count stands at 37,253,956, up from 33,871,648 in 2000. Some 57.6 percent of California residents identified themselves as being white, 13.1 percent as Asian, 6.2 percent as African American, 4.9 percent as two or more races and and 17 percent as some other race. More than a third of Californians – 37.6 percent – claimed Latino heritage.

Alameda had 32,351 housing units in 2010, up from 31,644 in 2000 and 30,520 in 1990, the data show. The number of unoccupied housing units rose over the last decade, from 1,418 in 2000 to 2,228 in 2010.

Tuesday’s census release included data that can be used to redraw the nation’s Congressional district and state legislative boundaries. The 2010 census also included questions about age, sex and home occupancy and ownership, and additional data is due out later this year.


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