Diversity & Inclusion

More than 300 counties now “majority-minority”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one in every 10 of the nation’s 3,141 counties has a population that is more than 50 percent minority. The two largest counties passing the threshold are Denver County, Colorado, and East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, with total populations of 566,974 and 429,073, respectively. Three other counties were in Texas (Winkler, Waller, and Wharton), with one each in Montana (Blaine), New Mexico (Colfax), and Virginia (Manassas Park, an independent city and considered a county equivalent).

Los Angeles County, California, had the largest minority population in the country in 2006. At 7 million, or 71 percent of its total, Los Angeles County is home to one in every 14 of the nation’s minority residents. The county’s minority population is higher than the total population of 38 states, with the largest population of Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians, and Alaska Natives in the country. It also has the second largest population of blacks and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.

Harris County gained 121,400 minority residents, which led the nation. Harris (Houston is its largest city) now has a minority population of 2.5 million, comprising 63 percent of its total. Its minority population ranks third nationally, not far behind second place Cook County, Illinois (Chicago).

Based on total population, Starr County, Texas, located on the Mexican border, had the highest proportion of all counties that was minority, at 98 percent. Among the nation’s 25 most populous counties, Miami-Dade County, Florida, had the highest proportion minority, at 82 percent.

Highlights for the various groups include:


  • Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population (4.7 million) in 2006, followed by Harris County, Texas, and Miami-Dade (1.5 million each).
  • Maricopa County, Arizona (home of Phoenix), had the biggest numerical increase in the Hispanic population (71,000), followed by Harris County, Texas (63,000).
  • Starr County, Texas, had the highest Hispanic proportion of its total population in 2006, at 97 percent. In fact, each of the 11 counties with the highest Hispanic proportion of its total population was in Texas.

African American

  • Cook County had the largest black population (1.4 million) in July 2006, followed by Los Angeles County (1 million).
  • Harris County had the largest numerical increase (52,000), with East Baton Rouge Parish next (19,000).
  • Claiborne County, Mississippi, had a population that was 85 percent black, which led the nation. All 50 counties with the highest percentage black population were in the South.


  • Los Angeles County had the largest Asian population (1.4 million), with Santa Clara County, California (home of San Jose) the runner-up (556,000).
  • Honolulu County, Hawaii, led the nation with a population that was 59 percent Asian. One other county – Kauai, Hawaii – was also majority Asian. San Francisco County, California, led the continental United States, with 34 percent of its population Asian.

American Indian and Alaska Native

  • Los Angeles County had the largest population of American Indians and Alaska Natives 150,000) with Maricopa County ranking second (95,000).
  • Shannon County, South Dakota, led the country, with 88 percent of its total population of 13,800 being a member of this group. Shannon was first of 10 counties/county equivalents that were majority American Indian and Alaska Native.

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

  • Honolulu County had the largest population of this race (177,000), with Los Angeles County (59,000) second.

Non-Hispanic White Alone

  • Los Angeles County had a nation-leading 2.9 million residents who were part of this group, with Cook County second at 2.4 million.
  • Magoffin County, Kentucky, with an estimated 13,400 total residents, and Mitchell County, Iowa, with an estimated 10,900 total residents, led the nation with 98.9 percent of their population being non-Hispanic white alone.

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