North Dakota Census: Minority population up, whites down in North Dakota

By James MacPherson
Bismarck, North Dakota (AP)

North Dakota’s minority population is growing and the number of white residents is declining, new Census Bureau estimates show.

Still, fewer than one in 10 North Dakotans is a minority, said Richard Rathge, the state Data Center director and North Dakota demographer.

Minorities in North Dakota last year totaled 51,751, or 8.1 percent of the state’s total population of 635,867, which was down from 642,200 in 2000, the Census Bureau said.

North Dakota’s minority population increased by 6,269, or 13.8 percent, from 2000 to 2006, the Census Bureau said. The latest figures show the state’s white population decreased by 12,602, or 2.1 percent, during the same time.

Rathge said the decline in the white population resulted from a combination of deaths and outmigration.

“The minority population is increasing and the white population is declining – that’s adding diversity to the mix, too,” Rathge said. “Even though our racial minority population grew by nearly 14 percent, the actual numeric change is relatively small.”

The latest figures show American Indian, Hispanic, Asian and black residents all had population increases in North Dakota.

The American Indian population, North Dakota’s largest racial minority, grew by 2,750 people, or 8.7 percent, from 2000 to 2006.

Asians increased by 1,128, or 28.8 percent; blacks by 1,105, or 26.6 percent; and people of multiple races grew by 1,286, or 21.5 percent.

The Census Bureau said the number of Hispanic people in the state increased by 2,851, or 36.6 percent, from 2000 to 2006. Nationally, the Hispanic population grew 25.5 percent during the same time.