The ethnic population that has exploded in the County is the Asian population. This population has increased by 116% from 2000 to 2010. This is matched by a 123% increase in the Hispanic population growth and 39% growth in the African American population. This has lowered the White non Hispanic population from 72% in 2000 to 59% in 2010. The minority population in the County will soon be the majority. Not sure what you call minorities when they are the majority.
With the growth of the Asian and Hispanic populations you have cultural and language issues that impact service providers in the County. We have been fortunate to have an organization such as FIRN the in the County for the past 30 years that has been a resource for foreign born residents. Now with the growth of these populations the school system, police and fire services have to be able to interact with foreign speaking residents.
The other large population growth is with the age 65+ population. This population has more than quadrupled since 1970 to over 30,000 in 2010. This population is projected to grow by another 119% in the next 30 years as the population of Baby Boomers reach this age. For Howard County the Baby Boomers have been an especially large part of our population because of the rapid population growth in the 1970's and 80's that was mostly young families moving into the County. Those parents in those families are now reaching retirement age. As I blogged last week about the Columbia Association eliminating 4 Tot Lots the number of children in many of our more mature neighborhoods is declining. Will CA be looking to develop these spaces to reflect the use by a more mature population? Maybe some focus groups with seniors on how these spaces could be utilized by seniors would be a good idea. A senior park with gardens, both flower and vegetable, and wild life sanctuaries might be of interest to this population.
You can access the powerpoint presentation of these changes at http://www.acshoco.org/Resources/Documents/Miscellaneous%20Resources/ACSCensusPresentation.pdf
I will be blogging more about the changing face of Howard County over the next couple of days.