Hawaii is most diverse state in the US, census shows

 Hawaii is most diverse state in the US, census shows
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Hawaii topped the list of states that have the most diverse population in the country, coming ahead of California and Nevada, according to newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau ranks states by ethnic and racial diversity using a diversity index, which measures the probability that two people chosen at random will be from different racial and ethnic groups.

The national diversity index in the U.S. came in at 61.1 percent in 2020, up from 54.9 percent recorded in 2010.

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According to the data, 57.8 percent of the U.S. population is white, 18.7 percent is Hispanic or Latino, 12.1 percent is Black or African American and 5.9 percent is Asian.

Just over 4 percent of respondents said they were two or more races, and a combined 1.4 percent said they were Indian and Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific or some other race.

The bureau noted that demographic changes and improvements to the ways that race and ethnicity data is gathered “reveal the U.S. population is more racially and ethnically diverse than measures in 2010.” 

Hawaii topped the list as most diverse state with an index of 76 percent, followed by California at 69.7 percent and Nevada at 68.8 percent.

The majority of Hawaii’s population is Asian, coming in at 36.5 percent, followed by white at 21.6 percent, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific at 10.2 percent and Hispanic or Latino at 9.5 percent.

Just over 20 percent of Hawaiians said they were two or more races.

Hispanics or Latinos made up the majority of California’s population at 39.4 percent, followed by white people at 34.7 percent and Asians at 15.1 percent.

In Nevada, 45.9 percent of residents in the state are white, followed by Hispanics or Latinos at 28.7 percent, Black or African Americans at 9.4 percent and Asians at 8.6 percent.

Maryland saw the largest diversity index increase from the 2010 census, with its percentage moving from 60.7 to 67.3 over the past 10 years, according to the bureau.

Maine, West Virginia and Vermont were the least diverse states in the U.S. last year. Maine scored a diversity index of 18.5 percent, while West Virginia and Vermont tied at 20.2 percent.

The census also ranked the counties with the highest diversity indexes in the U.S. Hawaii occupied three of the top five spots.

Hawaii County came in first at 77.7 percent, followed by Maui County at 77.1 percent and Queens County, N.Y., at 76.9 percent.

Counties in New York, California, Texas, Georgia and Virginia were all among the top 10 for diversity index.