People of color: Nurturing diversity and fostering racial equity are critical to our future prosperity. 

Insights & Analyses

  • While all US states except Hawaii were majority White in 1980, eight more are projected to be majority people of color by 2030 and a total of 20 states are projected to be majority people of color by 2060. 

  • While populations of color tend to be most concentrated in counties in Southwestern and Southern states, several counties in predominantly White states such as South Dakota and Montana are up to 97 percent people of color as of 2020 due to large Native American populations. 

  • Between 2020 and 2060, among the largest 150 regions, the three regions projected to see the largest increases in the percentage of people of color are Reading, PA (rising from 32 to 66 percent), Lakeland, FL (rising from 46 to 80 percent), and New Haven-Milford, CT (rising from 41 to 72 percent). 

  • Only three of the largest 150 regions are projected to see a decline in the percentage of people of color between 2020 and 2060, including Wilmington, NC (falling from 24  to 18 percent), Charleston-North Charleston, SC (falling from 37 to 32 percent), and Honolulu, HI (falling from 83 to 78 percent).

Drivers of Inequity

The proportion of people of color in the United States has grown dramatically since the 1980s. Increased immigration from regions including Latin America and Asia and interracial marriages and partnerships since the late 20th century, have contributed to this shift. Latinx and Asian populations are currently the fastest-growing populations in the United States. As the growth rate of White populations slows, the United States will likely be majority people of color by 2045.


Grow an equitable economy: Policies to leverage diversity as an asset

Strategy in Action

King County Uses an Equity Lens to Guide All Decisions. King County uses an equity lens to guide all decisions. In 2010, King County in the state of Washington adopted an ordinance to use the principles of “fair and just” to guide every aspect of work across all departments and activities, from community engagement and planning to budgeting, staffing, and day-to-day operations. An Equity Impact Review Tool helps staff answer these questions: What is the impact on equity? Who is affected? How can we do better? Staff use this tool to understand the racial and economic impacts of their programs, and orient their activities to achieve equitable opportunities for all people and communities. The county also launched an Equity and Social Justice office in 2015 that helps implement pro-equity policy, offers King County employees funding for projects that further racial and economic equity, and provides a public reporting platform to help monitor the county’s pro-equity policy changes. Read more.  

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