In a recent article, we noted that the 2010 Census showed that Louisiana’s population grew 1.4% over the past decade, and that the racial breakdown was 63% white and 32% black. What about the changes to the Asian and Hispanic populations during that time period?
While the recent growth in the Hispanic population has been noticeable across most of America (including, surprisingly, the Deep South), the changes have comparatively been less visible here in Louisiana, since the Hispanic population is only 4% of Louisiana’s population as of the 2010 Census. That number, however, is a 79% increase over the 2000 figures, and accounted for all (and then some) of Louisiana’s population “growth” during the past decade. And the state’s Hispanic population is not evenly distributed – only 11 parishes have a Hispanic population of 5% or greater. Seven of those parishes are in Metro New Orleans, and the city of Kenner has a respectable 21% Hispanic population. Two other communities across the state with noticeable Hispanic populations are the suburb of Gretna (also in Jefferson Parish, and 14% Hispanic) and the town of Forest Hill south of Alexandria, which has a 25% Hispanic population.
Though the Asian population in Louisiana is a miniscule 2%, it did grow 28% over the last decade. In general, the Asian community is concentrated in South Louisiana, with the largest percentages in Jefferson(4%), Orleans, East Baton Rouge, and Plaquemines (3% each). Within those parishes, you now have identifiable Asian communities. In New Orleans East, the Village de l’Est neighborhood is 42% Asian, while the Sherwood Forest subdivision in Baton Rouge is now 10% Asian.
In conclusion, even though these ethnic groups currently are a minor part of Louisiana’s population, their presence has become more noticeable in recent years, and have added to the cultural mosaic of our state. Politicians would be wise to learn where these communities exist and seek their support.