The Latino population in Georgia experienced exceptional growth since 2000, increasing 96% in the last decade, according to a National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund analysis of newly released Census 2010 data. Between 2000 and 2010, while the state’s overall population grew 18% from 8.2 million to 9.7 million, the Latino population increased from 435,227 to 853,689.
Latinos account for 28% of overall population growth in the state over the last 10 years, and represent 8.8% of the state’s population. “These numbers show that Latinos are an integral part of the state’s future economic well-being,” said State Representative Pedro Marin. “In order to ensure the prosperity and well-being of all residents of Georgia, our policies must promote the economic and civic progress of Latinos.”
Many of Georgia’s 10 largest incorporated areas – which include the state’s cities – also have significant Latino populations, including Roswell (17%), Sandy Springs (14%) and Athens-Clarke County (10%), which the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as the state’s fastest-growing big city. In addition, more than half (57%) of Georgia’s Latino residents live in the 10 largest counties, including Fulton – home to Atlanta. The data also found the Latino population is significantly younger than the non-Latino population.
“The newly released numbers suggest that the Latino community in our state placed a high priority on being counted in the 2010 Census and of being full participants in the political process in our country,” said Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO). “As Georgia now undertakes the redistricting process, it is time to make sure Latinos can embrace the opportunity to translate those Census numbers into full and fair representation.”