Howard Magazine - Page 39 - Diversity By The Numbers

Howard Magazine
- Page 39
Diversity By The Numbers

by christine zhang Howard Magazine


In 1950, Howard County was a primarily rural, predominately white farming community of around 23,000 people. Since then, the population has grown more than tenfold and diversified — so much so, that in 2012 the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning predicted it would become a “majority minority” county “in the next five to ten years.”


By 2017, nearly half of Howard’s more than 320,000 residents identified as racial minorities.


That growth is partly a reflection of broader trends. Since 2010, nationwide increases in every minority race and ethnic group tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau have outpaced that of non-Hispanic whites.


But the diversification of Howard County has surpassed that of the state and nation. Howard’s minority population has grown by more than 30 percent since 2010, compared with roughly 14 percent in both Maryland and the U.S.


When did Howard’s largest minority groups start moving to the county, where have they settled and how has the county evolved as a result?


In the pages that follow, we use Census Bureau data to examine these questions, and ask what it means as the county continues to rapidly grow.