BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After sifting through tens of millions of forms filled out by Americans, the Census Bureau has issued its most detailed portrait yet, of how the country has changed over the past decade.
New figures show a continued migration to the south and southwest.
The numbers also reveal that certain demographics of our population is aging and has fallen to its smallest share of the total population on record.
The 2020 Census Bureau released data stating the United States is becoming more diverse, in population.
To view the full 2020 Census Bureau news conference, click here.
Community leaders like Sam Radford told 7 Eyewitness News that this is a game changer for Queen City residents of color.
"The fact that we've seen an increase of diversity means there is an opportunity. It means we'll have more diversity in terms of our representation, in terms of people in positions of our not-for-profit organizations and all those things will bold for Buffalo in the next ten years," Director of CAO Better Schools Better Neighborhoods, Sam Radford said. “If you look at 10 years ago, Buffalo hasn’t changed a lot in the sense of segregation. Buffalo is still really a largely segregated city, but we’ve seen the increase and obviously people of color in the city. We’ve seen an increase in the number of immigrant population in our community. So, obviously, those are opportunities for Buffalo to become more reflective of a diverse population that can break up some of that entrenched segregation that’s been historical to the city.”
Experts said the growing number of people under the age of 18 is also encouraging.
“To see more young people means obviously more people that are going into the workforce and particularly because those young people are from a diverse population means that we will have them reflected more in terms of the decision making," Radford added.
For the first time in history of the Census Bureau, the non-Hispanic white population in the U.S. declined over a 10-year span.
University at Buffalo political science professor and attorney, Dr. Shawn Donahue said, "The non-Hispanic white population dropped significantly in the country. Not only in terms of percentage but in terms of sheer number. It seems as if that is due to the Census collecting data in a little bit different manner where there were a lot more responses that picked more than one race."
The UB professor notes, while the States saw a decline in population, western New York gained population.
“Both Erie County and the City of Buffalo both gained population. Something that I could not have said in my lifetime from a Census," Dr. Donahue added.
Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc. founder and former president, Cas Rodriguez believes Mother Nature also played a role in the migration of Hispanic population into WNY.
"For the Hispanic community, we just experienced a big devastation in the island of Puerto Rico. 2017, we had the hurricane, following that, last year the earthquake. So, our community pretty much grew I think, according to the Census because a lot of families settled in Western New York, Settled in the City of Buffalo, which is great," Rodriguez said.
The well-known community leader hopes this Census brings more resources for non-profits and other communities.
Rodriguez said, "What we need to do is get those federal dollars that are deserving as a result of the Census and make sure that we supply those funds into better education, medical services for families, veterans, housing. Everything that the Census counts that it's supposed to do."
“For organizations that I work for, like the CAO, on the back kind of funding for particularly people with low income. So, those numbers being accurately counted is really the first issue. Making sure that we have access to the resources that are necessary to move people out of poverty into self sufficiency becomes really, really, critical," Radford added.