Why this is important
As the face of Dakota County continues to change, so do the priorities and needs of its residents. Racial diversity makes the County stronger, our culture more robust, and enables local governments to serve their clients more effectively. Cultural, economic and social influences all accompany demographic shifts in racial diversity.
What the data show
Since 2000, Census data show Dakota County’s population has become more racially diverse, including both native- and foreign-born populations. In 2010, more than 59,000 people in Dakota County—almost 15% of the population—identified themselves in a racial group other than white alone, maintaining Dakota County as the third-most diverse county in the metropolitan area after Ramsey and Hennepin. In the last decade, the non-white population grew by more than 92%, while the white population added about 4% and still makes up the biggest racial segment of the overall population, at more than 85%. The Minnesota State Demographer’s Office projects that the difference between the shite and non-shite segments of the population in Dakota County will be smaller in 2035 than in 2010 (Growth of Diverse Population figure). In other words, the gap between the 85% whites and the 15% non-whites is expected to shrink.
The 2011 American Community Survey shows that African American (4.9%) is the largest non-white group in Dakota County, followed by Asian (4.3%). The “Other” race category shown in the table below comprises Native Hawaiian, Native Americans and other races. The “Two or more races” category describes those who report on the Census forms that they are members of two or more races. “Hispanic” makes up approximately 6% of the population. Being Hispanic is not a matter of race, but of ethnicity; most Hispanics describe themselves as white.