AMES, Iowa – More than 151,000 Iowans claimed Hispanic or Latino origin on the 2010 census questionnaire. This is the largest minority group in the state at five percent, as detailed in the Iowa State University Extension report “Race and Hispanic Origin in Iowa’s Counties, 1980-2010.”
The White group in Iowa still outnumbers other groups, at 91 percent, but minority groups have increased by 11.3 percent in the last decade. The number of Whites increased by nearly 33,000, whereas minority groups increased by 130,000.
The Hispanic (any race) minority group increased the most in Iowa over the last decade.
“For some of these counties and communities, there are many minority people, and in other areas there are relatively few,” said Sandra Burke, assistant scientist in economics. “In a number of these counties, it’s going to be largely an increase in the Latino/Hispanic population.”
Crawford County and Buena Vista County had the highest percentage of Hispanics, 24.2 and 22.7 percent respectively. Many other counties reported more than 10 percent Hispanic/Latino population.
“Those counties have had more Hispanic and Latino people taking the hard jobs in the meat plants, as well as jobs in ag processing, construction and hotel service; perhaps more than other racial groups have shown at this point,” Burke said.