Thursday, May 19, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
The release of new 2010 census data shows continued strong growth in Clark County’s Asian and Hispanic populations, increasing 103 percent and 88 percent, respectively, from 2000 to 2010.
The Asian/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population increased from 77,090 to 177,595, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Hispanic/Latino population climbed from 302,143 to 568,644.
James Hardcastle, state demographer at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the growth spurt in the Asian community can be attributed to similar industries in Hawaii and Southern Nevada.
“With the Filipino population, it’s been the opportunity within the hotel, gaming sector for employment. With the Hawaiian population, it’s also been a fairly compatible fit because of the similarities in industries. You’ve got the hotel sector in Hawaii and the hotel sector in Nevada,” Hardcastle said.
Despite the large population gains, the biggest increases in the Asian and Hispanic population came between 1990 and 2000, rising from 24,483 to 77,090 and from 82,904 to 302,143, respectively.
The rapid growth during that period was from people moving to Las Vegas for jobs, Hardcastle said. The latest increase is more likely the result of the growth of families, he said.
The African-American population, meanwhile, rose 60.5 percent in Clark County from 121,401 in 2000 to 194,821 in 2010.
The white population grew 12.9 percent, from 828,669 to 935,955, while the American Indian/Alaskan native population increased 12.5 percent, from 7,761 to 8,732.
Overall, Clark County’s population grew from 1,375,765 to 1,951,269, a 41.8 percent increase.
The following are breakdowns for municipalities within Clark County:
Las Vegas saw a 63 percent increase in its Hispanic population, a 55 percent increase in the Asian population, 28 percent among African-Americans, and a 0.7 percent increase in the white population. The American Indian and Alaska Native population declined 0.6 percent.
Again, Hardcastle said, the population increase among minority groups coincides with job opportunities.
“You look across the country and, nationally, Hispanics are filling jobs within the service sectors like at the restaurants, hotels and the lower-skilled construction jobs. It’s not just a Nevada phenomenon or a California phenomenon,” he said.
North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas saw largest growth in Asian population in the valley, a 256.7 percent increase from 4,151 in 2000 to 14,806 last year.
The Hispanic population increased 93.7 percent, African-Americans 93.1 percent, whites 57.9 percent and American Indians 54 percent.
North Las Vegas is the youngest city in the county, with a median age of 30.6 years, but up from 28.8 years in 2000.
Henderson also saw a strong increase in its Asian population, growing from 7,519 in 2000 to 19,526 in 2010, an rise of 159.7 percent. The Hispanic population rose 104.3 percent, from 18,785 to 38,377. The African-American population rose 95.6 percent, whites 29.1 percent and American Indians 23.8 percent.
Compared to North Las Vegas and Las Vegas, Henderson was the oldest city with a median age of 39.6 years, an increase from 35.9 years in 2000.
“Prior to 2000, Nevada actually was, on the whole, a younger population than the nation,” Hardcastle said. “Now, we’re probably just aging with the nation as a whole and just keeping pace.”
People in their early 20s and 30s who moved to Nevada for economic opportunities at the time the 1990 census was taken are getting older.
“They’re now approaching 50,” Hardcastle said. “As people move there for economic opportunity and are successful and liking the situation they’re in, they’ll continue to age there.”