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San Diego County Now Has ‘Majority, Minority’ Population

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Aired 5/10/10

The San Diego metro area has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country. A new study out today from the Brookings Institution says more than 22 percent of San Diego's population was born in another country. The State Of Metropolitan America report looked at the changing demographics of the 100 largest metro areas in the country.

— The San Diego metro area has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country. A new study out today from the Brookings Institution says more than 22 percent of San Diego's population was born in another country. The State Of Metropolitan America report looked at the changing demographics of the 100 largest metro areas in the country.

A Brookings Institution study finds nearly 42 percent of children in the metro San Diego area have at least one foreign born parent. The national rate is 22 percent.

Above: A Brookings Institution study finds nearly 42 percent of children in the metro San Diego area have at least one foreign born parent. The national rate is 22 percent.

Audrey Singer with Brookings said San Diego particularly stands out in one category. Among the top 100 metro areas, San Diego ranks 10th in the percentage of children with at least one immigrant parent.

"Nearly 42 percent of children in metropolitan San Diego are second generation," Singer said.

Singer said San Diego is classified as a Diverse Giant, meaning the area has a low growth rate with a highly diverse and educated population. The report gathered data from 2000 through 2008.

But it may already be outdated. Beth Jarosz is a demographer with the San Diego Association of Governments. She said the report's finding that about 49 percent of San Diego's population is non-white is no longer correct.

"In 2009 San Diego County actually shifted to being what we call a majority, minority county," she said. Jarosz said everyone's a minority in the county now, meaning there's no longer any race that makes up 50 percent or more of the population.

Nationwide about 35 percent of the population is non-white.

The Brookings study also found San Diego’s median income rose nearly 5 percent between 2000 and 2008. Nationally the median income fell about 4 percent.

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