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County’s Hispanic Population Up 86%

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Reflecting statewide trends, San Diego’s population became more racially and ethnically diverse in the 1980s, with the county’s white majority shrinking while Hispanics and Asians recorded sizable increases, U.S. Census data shows.

Hispanics now account for 20% of the county’s nearly 2.5 million population, while the number of Asians more than doubled during the past decade to surpass blacks as the region’s second largest minority group.

Despite the large percentage gains recorded by various racial or ethnic minorities, nearly three-quarters of San Diego County’s population--74.9%--remains white, the census figures show. San Diego’s Anglo population--non-Hispanic whites--makes up 65.4% of the countywide total, while Hispanics’ 86% increase, to 510,781, during the 1980s raised them to 20.4%. Asians and blacks, meanwhile, represent 7.4% (185,144) and 6% (149,898) of the county’s population, respectively.

Overall, the county grew 34% during the 1980s from 1,861,846 to 2,498,016. More than a third of that growth was attributable to the city of San Diego, which increased 27% from 875,167 in 1980 to 1,110,549 last year, according to the census data.

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Of the 18 incorporated cities in the county, only two--Del Mar and Solana Beach--shrank during the 1980s. Del Mar, which has established some of the toughest growth restrictions in the county, dropped 3% from 5,017 to 4,860, while Solana Beach--which, like a number of other cities, contests the Census Bureau’s 1990 figures--declined 1% from 13,047 to 12,962.

Elsewhere in the county, three cities--Chula Vista, Escondido and Oceanside--surpassed the 100,000 population threshold in the 1980s. Of the three, Escondido recorded the largest percentage increase--69%--as it grew from 64,355 to 108,635, while the populations of both Chula Vista and Oceanside increased by about 50,000 each, to 135,163 and 128,398, respectively.

Countywide, Anglos are outnumbered by other racial and ethnic groups in only two cities, National City and Chula Vista.

In National City, the number of Hispanics increased by nearly half during the 1980s, rising to 50% of the South Bay city’s overall total of 54,249. In contrast, Anglos make up only 26% of the city’s population, followed by Asians (16%) and blacks (8%).

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While the 67,302 Anglos living in Chula Vista represent that city’s largest single racial or ethnic group, they represent slightly less than a majority--49.8%--of its overall population. Hispanics constitute 37% of Chula Vista’s population, while Asians account for 8% and blacks, 4%.

With its 86% growth in the local Hispanic population, San Diego County was one of a handful of counties statewide where the rate of increase exceeded California’s 69% average. San Diego’s 121% increase in Asian population, meanwhile, was only slightly less than the statewide average of 127%.

Both Hispanic and Asian leaders attributed most of their respective communities’ growth in the 1980s to the presence of large pockets of Hispanics and Asians throughout San Diego County when the decade began, which in turn acted as magnet for new immigrants.

“With so many other (Asians) here, it feels a bit like home,” said Theresa Do, a Vietnamese immigrant who is vice-chairman of San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor’s Asian Advisory Board.

The growth in San Diego’s Hispanic community played a pivotal role in last year’s San Diego City Council redistricting process, resulting in the creation of the city’s first Hispanic-majority district.

While citing that as one of the positive steps taken by local officials to accommodate the changing needs posed by the region’s growing ethnic population, longtime Hispanic leader Jess Haro argues that local government remains “more reactive than creative” in that regard.

“I don’t think there’s as much responsiveness as there is awareness,” said Haro, a former San Diego City Councilman and board member of the San Diego County Chicano Federation. “I don’t see them initiating very much or offering greater services. But I think you’ll start to see those changes in the next 5 to 10 years as some of these people who have moved here establish deeper roots and begin to expect more of government.”

San Diego County Cities -- 1990 Census

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CARLSBAD

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 63,126 +78 -- Anglo 51,555 +75 82 Hispanic 8,700 +82 14 Asian 1,916 +147 3 Black 702 +230 1 Indian 205 +97 0.3 Other 48 -72 0.1

Dwelling Units: 27,235

CHULA VISTA

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 135,163 +61 -- Anglo 67,302 +18 50 Hispanic 50,376 +157 37 Asian 10,885 +138 8 Black 5,721 +254 4 Indian 622 +59 0.5 Other 257 -53 0.2

Dwelling Units: 49,849

CORONADO

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 26,540 +57 -- Anglo 21,589 +42 81 Hispanic 2,191 +180 8 Asian 849 +99 3 Black 1,766 +477 7 Indian 127 +122 0.5 Other 18 -85 0.1

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Dwelling Units: 9,145

DEL MAR

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 4,860 -3 -- Anglo 4,514 -4 93 Hispanic 177 -6 4 Asian 124 +50 3 Black 33 +83 1 Indian 12 -41 0.2 Other 0 -100 0

Dwelling Units: 2,514

EL CAJON

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 88,693 +20 -- Anglo 70,793 +8 80 Hispanic 12,387 +111 14 Asian 2,267 +129 3 Black 2,449 +238 3 Indian 682 +44 0.8 Other 115 -73 0.1

Dwelling Units: 34,453

ENCINITAS

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 55,386 +46 -- Anglo 44,881 +39 81 Hispanic 8,446 +92 15 Asian 1,566 +98 3 Black 281 +130 1 Indian 164 +21 0.3 Other 48 -71 0.1

Dwelling Units: 22,123

ESCONDIDO

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 108,635 +69 -- Anglo 77,507 +47 71 Asian 3,775 +247 3 Hispanic 25,380 +171 23 Black 1,254 +377 1 Indian 601 +27 0.6 Other 118 -63 0.1

Dwelling Units: 42,040

IMPERIAL BEACH

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 26,512 +17 -- Anglo 15,528 +1 59 Hispanic 7,502 +55 28 Asian 1,982 +38 7 Black 1,185 +86 4 Indian 260 +38 1 Other 55 -78 0.2

Dwelling Units: 9,525

LA MESA

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 52,931 +5 -- Anglo 44,419 -1 84 Hispanic 5,176 +63 10 Asian 1,539 +105 3 Black 1,528 +73 3 Indian 221 +4 0.4 Other 48 -86 0.1

Dwelling Units: 24,154

LEMON GROVE

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 23,984 +15 -- Anglo 15,888 -1 66 Hispanic 4,764 +64 20 Asian 1,245 +115 5 Black 1,835 +91 8 Indian 184 +51 0.8 Other 68 -51 0.3

Dwelling Units: 8,638 NATIONAL CITY

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 54,249 +11 -- Anglo 14,080 -28 26 Asian 8,608 +59 16 Hispanic 26,914 +44 50 Black 4,265 +1 8 Indian 258 -1 0.5 Other 124 -83 0.2

Dwelling Units: 15,243

OCEANSIDE

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 128,398 +67 -- Anglo 81,813 +56 64 Hispanic 28,982 +105 23 Asian 7,188 +111 6 Black 9,520 +70 7 Indian 670 +35 0.5 Other 225 -57 0.2

Dwelling Units: 51,109

POWAY

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 43,516 +35 -- Anglo 37,046 +28 85 Asian 2,604 +188 6 Hispanic 3,023 +79 7 Black 599 +48 1 Indian 199 +5 0.5 Other 45 -74 0.1

Dwelling Units: 14,386

SAN DIEGO

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 1,110,549 +27 -- Anglo 651,735 +8 59 Hispanic 229,519 +76 21 Asian 123,413 +129 11 Black 98,852 +30 9 Indian 5,052 +34 0.5 Other 1,978 -82 0.2

Dwelling Units: 431,722

SAN MARCOS

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 38,974 +123 -- Anglo 26,469 +80 68 Hispanic 10,702 +379 7 Asian 1,058 +298 3 Black 497 +554 1 Indian 196 +127 0.5 Other 52 -46 0.1

Dwelling Units: 14,476

SANTEE

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 52,902 +12 -- Anglo 44,849 +7 85 Hispanic 5,685 +65 11 Asian 1,448 +126 3 Black 557 +60 1 Indian 320 +11 0.6 Other 43 -84 0.1

Dwelling Units: 18,275

SOLANA BEACH

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 12,962 -1 -- Anglo 10,585 -5 82 Hispanic 1,907 +23 15 Asian 377 +47 3 Black 45 +45 0.3 Indian 32 +14 0.2 Other 16 -67 0.1

Dwelling Units: 6,346

VISTA

1980-'90 % of Total Percent 1990 Population Change Total TOTAL 71,872 +101 -- Anglo 48,014 +73 67 Hispanic 17,804 +189 25 Asian 2,617 +155 4 Black 2,961 +642 4 Indian 352 +86 0.5 Other 124 -40 0.2

Dwelling Units: 27,418


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