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Thread: 'A New Diversity': Race and Ethnicity in the Appalachian Region

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    Post 'A New Diversity': Race and Ethnicity in the Appalachian Region

    An Appalachian Regional Commission Research Report.

    Prepared by:
    Kelvin M. Pollard
    Population Reference Bureau
    1875 Connecticut Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20009

    The ARC's Definition of Appalachia:


    The Appalachian Region
    Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the Appalachian Regional Commission derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

    About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the Appalachian Region; 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20 percent of the national population. The Region's economic fortunes were based in the past mostly on extraction of natural resources and manufacturing. The modern economy of the Region is gradually diversifying, with a heavier emphasis on services and widespread development of tourism, especially in more remote areas where there is no other viable industry. Coal remains an important resource, but it is not a major provider of jobs.

    Manufacturing is still an economic mainstay but is no longer concentrated in a few major industries.

    Counties in Appalachia
    Alabama: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, De Kalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston

    Georgia: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Dade, Dawson, Douglas, Elbert, Fannin, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Gilmer, Gordon, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Hart, Heard, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Murray, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, Walker, White, and Whitfield

    Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe

    Maryland: Allegany, Garrett, and Washington

    Mississippi: Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, Itawamba, Kemper, Lee, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Montgomery, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Panola, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, Winston, and Yalobusha

    New York: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins

    North Carolina: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey

    Ohio: Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton, and Washington

    Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Carbon, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Venango, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Westmoreland, and Wyoming

    South Carolina: Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg

    Tennessee: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White

    Virginia: Alleghany, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Carroll, Craig, Dickenson, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Highland, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Rockbridge, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise/Norton, and Wythe

    The following independent cities in Virginia are also within the Appalachian Region: Bristol, Buena Vista, Covington, Galax, Lexington, Norton, and Radford.

    West Virginia: All counties: Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood, and Wyoming

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Appalachian region has long been considered a predominantly white section of the United States, particularly in comparison with the rest of the country. Yet ever since the nation's early origins, nonwhites always have been present in Appalachia. For starters, there have been the region's first inhabitants—the myriad American Indian tribal groups that called the Appalachians home prior to the arrival of the first European settlers in the 18th century. Appalachia also has long had an African American population—starting with the presence of slavery in the southern states, where the "peculiar institution" had already been established. Moreover, antebellum Appalachia had a small population of free blacks. In the first U.S. census of 1790, the combined population of slaves and free blacks in Appalachia totaled more than 19,000 (6 percent) of the region's total population of 307,000. By 1860, blacks had become 10 percent of Appalachia's 5.4 million residents. (John Alexander Williams, Appalachia: A History [Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002]: 111, table 2.1.)

    But over the past century, numerous developments—the Great Migration of African Americans to northern U.S. cities after World War I; the overall trend of the United States from a rural, agrarian society to an urban, industrial one; and the general out-migration of the Appalachian population to seek better economic opportunities—have served to isolate Appalachia relative to the rest of the country. By 1990, the percentage of Appalachia's total population that was minority had shrunk from its pre-Civil War levels. The region seemed largely untouched by the rest of the country's growing racial and ethnic diversity: About 9 percent of Appalachians (1.9 million persons) were members of minority groups, compared with 25 percent of persons living outside the region. And of those 1.9 million minority Appalachians, nearly 1.6 million (84 percent) were non-Hispanic African Americans (Figure 1). (The decennial U.S. census asks separate questions for race and Hispanic origin. As a result, persons of Hispanic origin can be of any racial group. [For example, a person of Puerto Rican ancestry can be both black and Hispanic.]) Hispanics, who by 1990 had become the region's second-largest minority group by then, numbered just 137,000—1 percent of all Appalachian residents and 7 percent of Appalachia's minority population.


    Since 1990, however, Appalachia has become more diverse: as racial and ethnic minorities have constituted nearly half the region's population growth through 2000. This report will look at the post-1990 diversity of Appalachia, examining its geographic concentrations, its contributing factors, and its breakdown by racial and ethnic minority group. The study also will analyze how Appalachia's increased racial and ethnic diversity affects selected economic and social developments in the region; it concludes with an examination of the potential implications of these growing trends. Comparisons examined not only will involve Appalachia and the rest of the United States, but also areas within the region—its three major subregions, the 13 states that are part of the official Appalachian region, counties at different levels of economic development, and urban and rural Appalachia.
    Last edited by Appalachian; Sunday, July 17th, 2005 at 05:03 AM.

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    Post Appalachia, The Census, and Racial/Ethnic Categories

    The Appalachian Region. Analysts have come to define Appalachia—the area surrounding the 1,500-mile Appalachian mountain system in eastern North America—along economic typologies. (Donald J. Bogue and Calvin L. Beale, Economic Areas of the United States [New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, Inc, 1961]: 214-215; Calvin L. Beale, "A Characterization of Types of Metropolitan Areas," in A Taste of the Country: A Collection of Calvin Beale's Writings, ed. Peter A. Morrison (University Park, Pa., and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990): 59-75; and Faqir S. Bagi, Richard J. Reeder, and Samuel D. Calhoun, "Federal Funding's Unique Role in Appalachia, Rural Development Perspectives 14, no. 1 (May 1999): 14-21) This report uses the regional definition employed by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a federal-state government partnership designed to improve conditions in the Appalachia. The 410-county ARC region covers all of West Virginia and parts of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. (In addition to the 410 counties, the Appalachian region contains eight Virginia cities that are independent of any county authority (that is, they function like counties). For analytical purposes, the Appalachian Regional Commission—following the practice of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)—incorporates each independent city within an adjacent county, and this report follows that practice).

    Appalachia has three major subregions. Northern Appalachia contains the Appalachian counties of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio as well as 46 of West Virginia's 55 counties. Central Appalachia (often known as the region's core) includes the Mountaineer State's nine southernmost counties as well as eastern Kentucky, Virginia's southwestern tip, and the northwestern portion of Tennessee's Appalachian area. Finally, southern Appalachia includes most of Appalachian Virginia and Tennessee as well as the western Carolinas and the northern parts of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. (Appalachian Regional Commission, unpublished data not available on their website. The ARC created the current subregions in 1974 as a result of an analysis of several geographic, economic, and demographic factors. For a detailed analysis of the criteria used to define the three subregions, see Appalachian Regional Commission, "The New Appalachian Subregions and their Development Strategies," Appalachia, a Journal of the Appalachian Regional Commission 8, no. 1 (September 1974): 11-27. An earlier classification of Appalachia into four subregions is available in Appalachian Regional Commission, "Experiment in Appalachia," Appalachia, a Journal of the Appalachian Regional Commission 1, no. 1 (September 1967): 3-5.)

    Appalachia has some areas that are economically depressed and others that are as advanced economically as the United States average. Recognizing this fact, the ARC has classified the region into four categories of economic development—Distressed, Transitional, Competitive, and Attainment. (This report uses the ARC's economic status classifications as of Fiscal Year 2003.) The region's Distressed counties, which are mostly in central Appalachia, have (a) per capita income no greater that 67 percent of the national average, and both poverty and unemployment levels at least 150 percent of United States levels. Counties with poverty rates that are 200 percent of the national average also fall in the Distressed category. Transitional counties (which constitute most of geographical Appalachia) are noticeably worse off economically than the nation as a whole but do not meet all of the criteria necessary to be classified as Distressed. Counties in the Competitive category have unemployment and poverty rates better than the national average but per capita incomes of between only 80 percent and 99 percent of the U.S. midpoint. Finally, Appalachian counties at the Attainment level have reached parity with the rest of the nation in terms of income, poverty, and unemployment. (Appalachia's 21 Competitive and nine Attainment counties are mostly in southern Appalachia. All but one of the Attainment counties are in metropolitan areas. For more information about the four economic development categories, see Kelvin M. Pollard, "Appalachia at the Millennium: An Overview of Results from Census 2000," Demographic and Socioeconomic Change in Appalachia (June 2003), accessed online at http://www.arc.gov/images/reports/ce...census2000.pdf, on June 9, 2004, and at http://www.prb.org/Template.cfm?Sect...ContentID=8826, on June 9, 2004.)

    The 2000 Decennial Census. The decennial U.S. census provides a detailed examination of demographic, social, and economic characteristics for small areas of the country such as counties and cities. The census—required by the U.S. Constitution to provide data for congressional apportionment among the states—is also a guide for the distribution of nearly $200 billion in federal funds. In addition, local officials, business people, and others in both the public and private sector rely on census data to make important decisions in such areas as transportation, housing, and economic development. Finally, the results from the 2000 census allow researchers to analyze both the state of the total U.S. population as well as of various demographic subgroups. These finely detailed data sets allow users to study small areas individually and in comparative combinations.

    Evolution of Racial and Ethnic Categories. The 2000 census was the first that allowed individuals to categorize themselves as belonging to more than one race. Although much has been made of this new feature (and there has been much debate about how best to examine racial and ethnic trends between 1990 and 2000), racial categories have always been evolving throughout the country's history. In the first U.S. census of 1790, for example, census takers were instructed to classify free individuals as white or "other"—the "other" category including American Indians, free African Americans, and other "nonwhites." (The 1790 census counted slaves separately.) By 1890, the racial categories included white, black, several black-white mixed race groups (e.g., mulatto), American Indian, and two Asian groups (Chinese and Japanese). Data for persons of Hispanic or Latino origin were not collected until the 1970 census, as Latino immigrants to the United States were beginning to increase in numbers. (Kelvin M. Pollard and William P. O'Hare, "America's Racial and Ethnic Minorities," Population Bulletin 54, no. 3 (September 1999): 8-9, box 1.) Thus, racial and ethnic categories in the United States—indeed, of any society—have always reflected societal assumptions.

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    Post The 1990s: An Era of Increasing Diversity within Appalachia

    The 1990s continued the U.S. trend toward increased racial and ethnic diversity-not only with a growth in the country's population of specific racial groups, but also with a marked national increase in multiracial marriages and births. Between 1970 and 2000, for example, the number of interracial U.S. couples surged from 321,000 to 3.1 million, accounting for 6 percent of the nation's married couples. (U.S. Census Bureau, "Census 2000 PHC-T-19. Hispanic Origin and Race of Coupled Households: 2000," accessed online at http://www.census.gov/population/cen...-t19/tab01.pdf, on Sept. 5, 2003; and "Table 1: Race of Wife by Race of Husband: 1960, 1970, 1980, 1991, and 1992," accessed online at http://www.census.gov/population/soc...terractab1.txt, on Sept. 5, 2003) This latter phenomenon spurred the Census Bureau to allow 2000 census respondents the option to describe themselves as belonging to more than one race.

    In 2000, members of minority groups made up nearly one in three Americans, and this increased heterogeneity also appeared in Appalachia. The number of minority Appalachians increased nearly 50 percent to 2.8 million from 1990 to 2000, boosting minorities' share of the region's total population to 22.9 million, or 12 percent (Figure 2). (The minority population in 2000 includes all "multiracial" persons-including those non-Hispanic whites who identified with another racial group.) The rate of increase for Appalachia's minority population was greater than the 43 percent increase of minorities in the rest of the country. Moreover, minorities accounted for nearly half of Appalachia's population growth in the 1990s.


    Unlike in the rest of the United States, where Hispanics outnumbered non-Hispanic blacks for the first time, non-Hispanic African Americans continued to make up most of Appalachia's minority population-two-thirds (1.9 million) of the 2.8 million minority Appalachians. (Unless otherwise indicated in this report, references to the 2000 population for blacks, American Indians, Asians, and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are for the persons who identified themselves only with their individual racial group.) Just as in the rest of the country, however, Hispanics fueled much of the growth in Appalachia's total-and minority-population. The 328,000 additional persons of Latino origin accounted for one-sixth of the 1.9 million residents Appalachia added to its population during the 1990s-and more than one-third of the region's 929,000 additional minority residents. (By comparison, Appalachia added 294,000 blacks to its population between 1990 and 2000.)


    As a result, the number of Hispanics in Appalachia reached 465,000 in 2000-a 239 percent increase between 1990 and 2000 (see Figure 3). This increase was more than 10 times the 19 percent growth rate of the region's non-Hispanic blacks and nearly 80 times the 5 percent growth rate for Appalachia's white population. Although the region's Latino population in 1990 was tiny, its high growth rate in the subsequent decade illustrates the inroads Hispanics have made in U.S. areas where their presence previously had been small.

    Throughout Appalachia, minority population growth outpaced that of whites in the 1990s (Table 1). This phenomenon held in all three subregions, in all four economic development categories, and in every state. In some cases, racial and ethnic minorities accounted for most of an area's or category's total population growth. For instance, minorities were 54 percent of the additional 92,000 residents in the Distressed counties and 70 percent of the 412,000 additional residents in the Attainment counties. Minorities also comprised 75 percent of the 12,000 persons western Maryland added to its population in the decade. Indeed, some parts of Appalachia would have lost population in the 1990s were it not for minority growth. The 211,000 racial and ethnic minorities that northern Appalachia gained between 1990 and 2000, for example, offset the 47,000 whites the subregion had lost during the decade. Similar scenarios played out in all of West Virginia and in Pennsylvania's Appalachian counties. And while southern New York State had about 16,000 fewer residents in 2000 than in 1990, its population loss would had been even greater were it not for the additional 28,000 minority residents in the Empire State's Appalachian section.

    Table 1. Throughout Appalachia, the rate of minority population growth during the 1990s, outpaced that of whites.



    Despite the growth in the minority population throughout Appalachia, minorities still make up a tiny share of the population in many areas of the region. Consider this: Southern Appalachia, with a 19 percent minority population, was home in 2000 to 2 million of the region's 2.8 million residents who were members of minority groups. By contrast, 7 percent of northern Appalachians and just 4 percent of central Appalachia's residents were minority. The lack of racial and ethnic diversity is also stark among most Appalachian counties (Figure 4). In 2000, minorities were less than 10 percent of the total population in 310 of the region's 410 counties, and less than 5 percent in 215 of the counties. (On the other hand, every Appalachian county was at least 1 percent minority in 2000.) Of Appalachia's 27 counties with minority populations of at least 30 percent, all but four were in either Alabama or Mississippi. Non-Hispanic African Americans were the predominant minority group in most of these counties-the case in 163 of the 195 Appalachian counties that were at least 5 percent minority

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    Post The 1990s: An Era of Increasing Diversity within Appalachia (Cont.)

    Children have been at the forefront of minorities' increasing presence in the region. Of Appalachia's 5.4 million children in 2000, 16 percent (869,000) were members of minority groups, up from 11 percent in 1990. Although this percentage was less than half of minorities' 41 percent share of the child population for the non-Appalachian United States, it does suggest that the Appalachian region's growing racial and ethnic diversity likely will continue.

    An examination of the age structure of Appalachia's three major racial and ethnic groups also sheds light on future trends for the region. In 2000, children were 23 percent of Appalachia's non-Hispanic white population, 30 percent of the region's African American population (including Hispanics), and 33 percent of its Hispanic residents (Table 2). At the other end of the age spectrum, one in seven of Appalachia's whites were age 65 or older, compared to just one in 11 blacks and one in 33 Hispanics. (Similar patterns were present in the non-Appalachian United States, with children making up about one-third of blacks and Hispanics and older persons comprising just one in 12 blacks and one in 20 Hispanics.)

    Table 2. Children and younger workers have been at the forefront of Appalachia’s growing racial and ethnic diversity.


    But the younger age structure of Appalachia's minority populations particularly applies to the region's working age population-especially residents ages 18 to 44. Nearly 43 percent of Appalachia's black population and an incredibly high 54 percent of its Latino residents were of the younger working ages. By contrast, people ages 18 to 44 were just 37 percent of the region's non-Hispanic white population. The share of younger working-age persons in the Latino population is particularly remarkable-it, more than any other statistic on Appalachia's Hispanics, reflects the rapid regional growth in this population during the last decade, particularly since younger working-age adults are most likely to migrate to a new community.

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    Post Fertility, Migration, and Immigration: Accounting for the Rise of Diversity

    Natural increase-particularly the higher fertility rates among many racial and ethnic minorities-has accounted for some of Appalachia's increasing diversity. During the 1990s, for example, the total fertility rate (TFR, or the average number of children women would have during their lifetime under existing fertility rates) was highest in the United States for Hispanic women, at 2.8 in 1995 and 2.73 in 2000. African American women had the next highest fertility levels nationally-a TFR of 2.13 in both 1995 and 2000. For women in the other racial groups (non-Hispanic white, Asian, and American Indian), fertility levels were somewhat lower, with TFRs in the 1.8 to 1.9 range. The total fertility rate for non-Hispanic white women was 1.78 in 1995 and 1.87 in 2000. (Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics, "Revised Birth and Fertility Rates for the 1990s and New Rates for Hispanic Populations, 2000 and 2001: United States," by Brady E. Hamilton, Paul D. Sutton, and Stephanie J. Ventura, National Vital Statistics Report 51, no.12 (Aug. 4, 2003).)

    Even considering the impact of natural increase, however, it has been migration-particularly domestic migration-that has been the key force for Appalachia's increasing diversity. Migration patterns during both 1995 and 2000 illustrate this point. Twenty-eight percent of Appalachia's 2.6 million minorities age 5 and older had moved to their county of residence between 1995 and 2000, compared with 17 percent of non-Hispanic whites. (Mobility rates for the two groups were closer in the non-Appalachian United States; 22 percent of minorities and 21 percent of whites had migrated from outside their residential counties in the late 1990s.) While many Appalachian migrants had moved to their county of residence from another county within the region, much of this movement suggests an increasing awareness of Appalachian areas as a potential destination for minority residents.

    Among some minority groups in the region, mobility rates were even higher (Figure 5). More than half of Appalachia's Hispanic and Asian residents and one-third of its American Indians and multiracial persons had moved since 1995-either into the region or from another Appalachian county. (Indeed, the high percentage of recent migrants among Appalachia's Latino population-which occurred throughout the region but was not nearly as high in the non-Appalachian United States-helps explain that group's increased visibility in the region.) Among Appalachia's black population, just under one-fifth had migrated from another county between 1995 and 2000-only slightly higher than the percentage for non-Hispanic whites.


    Some parts of the Appalachian region experienced extraordinary county-level mobility rates among minorities from 1995 to 2000. For example, 53 percent of minority residents in western Maryland had lived outside their 2000 county of residence in 1995, as had 48 percent of northern Georgia's minority population and 45 percent of western Virginia's. In 65 Appalachian counties, at least half of minority residents had migrated from another county between 1995 and 2000. Most of these counties had fewer than 2,500 minority residents in 2000; for example, more than 70 percent of the minority residents of the eastern Kentucky counties of Wolfe, Lee, and Menifee had lived in another county in 1995, yet all of these counties still had fewer than 400 minority residents in 2000. Other Appalachian counties that attracted most of their minority residents in the late 1990s, however, either were in fast-growing metropolitan areas-such as the Atlanta-area counties of Forsyth and Gwinnett-or housed major colleges and universities-for example, Tompkins County, N.Y. (Cornell University and Ithaca College); Centre County, Pa. (Pennsylvania State University); and Montgomery County, Va. (Virginia Tech and Radford University).

    Immigration-particularly from Latin America and Asia-has had a key impact on the U.S. population's composition at the dawn of the 21st century. For example, more than three-fourths of the country's 31.1 million foreign-born residents were born in either Latin America or Asia, with more than half born in Latin America alone. (Natives of those two world regions were nearly 9 percent of the total U.S. population in 2000.) In Appalachia, however, immigration-regardless of country or region of origin-has had a much smaller impact in the 1990s. Just 3 percent (611,000) of Appalachia's total population was born outside the United States, and 52 percent of that total had arrived in the country since 1990. Natives of Latin America and Asia accounted for more than 410,000 of all foreign-born Appalachians, and 60 percent of those had arrived in the country during the 1990s. However, less than 2 percent of all Appalachian residents were born in these two world regions.

    However, natives of Latin America and Asia have become a noticeable presence in some Appalachian areas: for example, they make up 7 percent of the total population for northern Georgia, thanks largely to the booming growth in the Atlanta suburbs and north Georgia resort areas. In fact, the Peach State had seven of the 10 Appalachian counties in which at least 5 percent of the residents had been born in Asia or Latin America. Two of the other three such counties-Tompkins County, N.Y. (Cornell University and Ithaca College) and Forsyth County, N.C. (Wake Forest University)-housed major universities.

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    Post Re: "'A New Diversity': Race and Ethnicity in the Applachian Region

    Interesting, great post.

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    Post Appalachia's Racial and Ethnic Groups

    Non-Hispanic whites. From the beginnings of the nation's history, Americans of European origin have been the most dominant population group. At the beginning of the 20th century, nine in 10 Americans were white. (Pollard and O'Hare, "America's Racial and Ethnic Minorities": 3.) As the racial and ethnic composition of the country became increasingly diverse, however, non-Hispanic whites' share of the national population steadily grew. Still, non-Hispanic whites-those who do not identify with any other racial group-made up nearly seven in 10 Americans at the dawn of the 21st century.

    At 20.1 million in 2000 (88 percent of the population), non-Hispanic whites are an even more dominant presence in the Appalachian region. Appalachia had about 983,000 more non-Hispanic whites in 2000 than it did in 1990, slightly more than half the 1.9 million residents the region added during the decade. But whites' share of the Appalachian population declined from 91 percent, as the region's minority population grew at a much faster rate in the 1990s (50 percent versus 5 percent).

    Although Appalachia's non-Hispanic white population grew more slowly in the 1990s than the region's total population (9 percent), it did grow faster than the white population in the rest of the country (3 percent). The white population grew fastest in southern Appalachia (12 percent); it increased a phenomenal 26 percent in Appalachian Georgia (thanks largely to the boom in suburban Atlanta). In northern Appalachia, by contrast, the non-Hispanic white population actually declined slightly (by 47,000, or less than 1 percent) during the 1990s, although the increase in the area's minority population (by 211,000) more than made up for that loss. Such also was the case in West Virginia and in the Appalachian sections of Pennsylvania. In Appalachian New York State, however, the increase of nearly 28,000 minority residents between 1990 and 2000 could not offset the loss of more than 43,000 whites, making for a 2 percent net loss in residents.

    Because non-Hispanic whites are such a large majority of the Appalachian population, their residency patterns almost match the patterns for all Appalachian residents. Almost 90 percent of the region's white population lives in northern or southern Appalachia; Pennsylvania alone is home to more than 25 percent. Unlike the pattern with the general Appalachian population, however, northern Appalachia has more whites than southern Appalachia (9.4 million to 8.6 million). Three-fifths of the region's total and white populations live in metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB); one-fifth live in areas of at least 1 million. (Metropolitan areas were newly classified by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in June 2003, following the release of 2000 census data. All discussion of population change and distribution in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and of their various types, will be based on their 2003 classification status.)

    Blacks/African Americans. The ancestors of most African Americans have been in the United States for generations. As a result, blacks have been this country's largest single minority group throughout its history. The 2000 census, however, marked a historic turning point. For the first time, Americans of Hispanic/Latino origin outnumbered non-Hispanic blacks (35.3 million to 33.9 million). Although the 2000 non-Hispanic African American population rises to 35.4 million when we include those persons who indicated in the 2000 census that they were of more than one race, the imminent status of Hispanics as the nation's largest minority (fully confirmed with the release of Census Bureau estimates for 2002 and 2003) (The July 1, 2003 estimates show that the nation's Hispanic population was 39.9 million, compared with 35.6 million non-Hispanic blacks (single race) and 37.0 million non-Hispanic blacks (single or multiple race). For more information, see U.S. Census Bureau, "Annual Estimates of the Population by Sex, Race and Hispanic or Latino Origin for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2003," accessed online at eire.census.gov/popest/data/national/tables/NC-EST2003-03.pdf, on June 26, 2004.) is one more illustration of the new realities of race and ethnicity in the United States.

    In Appalachia, however, African Americans remain the largest minority group by a large margin. In 2000, the region's non-Hispanic blacks numbered nearly 1.9 million-67 percent of Appalachia's minority population and 8 percent of all Appalachians. The inclusion of Latino blacks added 16,000 more people to the region's black population in 2000, and adding blacks (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic) who marked more than one race on the 2000 census form increased the black population in Appalachia to just under 2 million. This relatively small addition is because blacks are less likely than other minority groups to marry non-blacks; just 12 percent of black spouses had a non-black spouse in 2000. (Census Bureau, "Census 2000 PHC-T-19.")

    Appalachia's non-Hispanic black population (using the single-race standard) increased 19 percent between 1990 and 2000-not as fast as the minority population overall, but still faster than the 16 percent increase among African Americans in the rest of the country. The 294,000 additional black Appalachians represent 32 percent of the 929,000 minorities Appalachia gained during the decade. The African American population increased just about everywhere in the region-even in areas that suffered losses of either their total population (southern New York State) or their non-Hispanic white population (northern Appalachia, West Virginia). Some areas increased their numbers faster than others, however. For example, Georgia's Appalachian section added nearly 90,000 non-Hispanic blacks, a gain of 86 percent. And the black population in Appalachian Maryland rose 63 percent, increasing the total number of African Americans in the Old Line State's westernmost counties from fewer than 9,000 to more than 14,000. Indeed, 160 of Appalachia's 410 counties more than doubled their non-Hispanic black population during the 1990s; 102 of those counties had at least 2,500 non-Hispanic blacks in 2000.

    Just as with the overwhelming majority of the region's minorities, most black Appalachians (77 percent as of 2000) live in the region's southern counties (Figure 6). Of the 119 Appalachian counties with at least 2,500 single-race African Americans (including Hispanics) in 2000, 82 were in southern Appalachia. In fact, Alabama alone was home to nearly one-third of the region's black population; Jefferson County (Birmingham) had nearly 261,000 black residents in 2000, the most of any single Appalachian county. Twenty percent of the region's black population resided in northern Appalachia, with the vast majority (274,000 of 384,000) living in Pennsylvania. (More than 159,000 lived in Allegheny County, Pa.-where Pittsburgh is located-alone.) And central Appalachia was home to only 46,000 African Americans, just 2 percent of the region's black population. Indeed, only 25 of central Appalachia's 87 counties had more than 500 single-race African American residents.


    Blacks in Appalachia (as with blacks in the rest of the country) are more urban than the region as a whole. Nearly 75 percent of the region's African American population (including Hispanics) live in metropolitan areas; 34 percent live in metros of at least 1 million population. (Among all Appalachians, the respective shares were 62 percent and 23 percent.)

    Hispanics/Latinos. Hispanics (also known as Latinos) can trace their heritage largely from the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America (plus Puerto Rico, which has commonwealth status in the United States). Immigration from Latin America, coupled with higher fertility among some Latino groups than the U.S. national average, has helped the U.S. Hispanic population to more than double over the past two decades-from 14 million in 1980 to 35.3 million in 2000. In fact, the "lead engine" that has fueled U.S. population growth during the 1990s has been the increase among Latinos. The additional 13 million Hispanics in the United States between 1990 and 2000 accounted for nearly half the growth in the national minority population over that period as well as two-fifths of the overall population growth.

    One key aspect of the growth among Hispanics in the 1990s has been the occurrence of this increase in places with small (or previously small) Hispanic populations-such as Appalachia. The region's Latino population in the 1990s soared from 137,000 in 1990 to 465,000 in 2000, a 239 percent increase. Hispanics accounted for 17 percent of Appalachia's population increase during the decade-more than any other minority group. In several parts of Appalachia, this rate of increase was even greater: the Latino population nearly quadrupled in large metropolitan areas (at least 1 million population), quintupled in southern Appalachia and in the region's Attainment counties, and sextupled in the Appalachian sections of Georgia and North Carolina. (The Latino population in the Peach State's Appalachian counties mushroomed from 24,000 in 1990 to 159,000 in 2000.) Although the small base of Appalachia's 1990 Latino population accounts for that group's astronomical population increases by 2000, Hispanics inarguably have become a more significant segment of the region's demographic profile.

    As with African Americans, the region's Hispanics were concentrated in southern Appalachia (Figure 7). Georgia's Appalachian counties alone accounted for one-third of the region's Latino population in 2000, while Alabama and North Carolina combined for another one-fourth. (Gwinnett County, Ga., in suburban Atlanta, had more than 64,000 Hispanics-the most of any Appalachian county.) Most of northern Appalachia's 106,000 Hispanics lived in Pennsylvania. Fewer than 20,000 Hispanics lived in central Appalachia in 2000, although that did represent an increase of 12,000 from the subregion's 1990 Latino total. Still, only eight central Appalachian counties had at least 500 Latino residents. The region's Hispanic population-again like its black population-had a predominately urban character: three in four Appalachian Latinos lived in metropolitan areas in 2000, and more than half lived in metros of at least 250,000 population.


    American Indians and Alaska Natives. Often called "the first Americans" because of their presence on the North American continent before the arrival of Europeans and Africans, the American Indian and Alaska Native population consist of people with a variety of historical experiences. The American Indian population also is one whose size is very difficult to measure, thanks to the "more than one race" option allowed in the 2000 census and high rate of exogamy (marrying outside one's own racial group) among American Indians. Nearly 70 percent of American Indian spouses in the United States were married to someone of another race in 2000.

    In 2000, Appalachia was home to 60,000 non-Hispanic persons who identified themselves as American Indians alone. Including Hispanics raises the region's single-race American Indian population to 65,000. And when one includes those American Indians who also identify with another racial group into the mix, the number of American Indians (including Hispanics) in Appalachia balloons to nearly 153,000-more than twice the size of the "race alone" population. Even by the most inclusive standard, however, American Indians remained less than 1 percent of the Appalachian population in 2000.

    Of course, which standard one uses to measure the American Indian population in Appalachia also changes the growth rate measured for that demographic group during the 1990s. Appalachia's population of non-Hispanic American Indians grew 31 percent (14,000 persons) between 1990 and 2000 when the single-race standard was employed. Under the multiple race definition, Appalachia's American Indian population (including Hispanics) tripled during the 1990s. Nationwide, American Indians and Alaska Natives increased their numbers 26 percent or 110 percent, depending on whether the single-race or multiple-race definition is used.

    Southern Appalachia is the locus for the region's American Indian population, with 63 percent of Appalachia's single-race American Indians (including Hispanics) in 2000. Forty percent of these people lived in just two states-Alabama and North Carolina (Figure 8). In fact, the Tar Heel State had the only two counties (Swain and Jackson) with at least 2,500 single-race American Indian residents. (Just 19 other Appalachian counties had 500 or more American Indians within their boundaries.) American Indians (using the single-race standard) were also the most rural of Appalachia's racial and ethnic groups-nearly half lived outside metropolitan areas, and more than one-fourth lived outside either metropolitan or micropolitan areas. Under the multiple race definition, American Indians are slightly more urban-but not much: 57 percent lived in metropolitan areas in 2000.

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    Post Appalachia's Racial and Ethnic Groups (Cont.)

    Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders. Asian Americans arguably make up the most diverse racial and ethnic group, tracing their origins to nations such as China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, and Thailand-each with its own linguistic and cultural traditions. Thanks largely to the immigration of many Asian groups, Asian Americans have recently been the fastest growing group in terms of population percentage change, nearly tripling their national numbers between 1980 and 2000.

    Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) similarly trace their origins to places with diverse traditions-in their case, the islands of the Pacific, including Hawaii, Guam, and Samoa. Because Native Hawaiians, the largest single Pacific Islander group, is a native American group, the NHPI population in the United States grew relatively slowly in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Appalachia was home to 201,000 non-Hispanic Asian Americans and 4,700 non-Hispanic Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders in 2000 (using the single-race definition). Including Hispanics bumps the Asian numbers up to 202,000, while increasing the NHPI population to nearly 6,400. The rate of intermarriage is quite high for both groups; nationally, 28 percent of Asian spouses and 61 percent of NHPI spouses were married to persons outside their race in 2000. (Census Bureau, "Census 2000 PHC-T-19.") Because of intermarriage, Appalachian Asians and Pacific Islanders who also identified with another race boosted both groups' regional 2000 population significantly-to 240,000 Asians and 14,000 Pacific Islanders in the Appalachian region. The combined population of both Asians and Pacific Islanders (single race) in Appalachia was nearly double the region's Asian and Pacific Islander population in 1990.

    About 58 percent of Appalachia's single-race Asian American population (including Hispanics) lives in southern Appalachia. Georgia alone had 27 percent of the region's Asians, while Pennsylvania had another 23 percent (Figure 9). The influence of metropolitan Atlanta and Pittsburgh accounts for the high number of Asians in their respective states. Indeed, 84 percent of Asians in the Appalachian region live in metropolitan areas-the largest share of any racial or ethnic group. Forty-one percent live in large metros (areas with at least 1 million population). Many counties that have sizeable (2,500 or more) Asian American populations are home to major universities. These counties include many of those cited earlier-Tompkins County, N.Y. and Centre County, Pa., for example-as well as others such as Broome County, N.Y. (location of the State University of New York at Binghamton) and Greenville County, S.C. (Furman University). (Many of these counties also are part of metropolitan areas-often mid-size (between 250,000 and 999,999 population) or smaller)


    Similarly, more than half of Appalachia's single-race NHPIs live in southern Appalachia. Among the states, the largest number of NHPIs lived in Pennsylvania (about one-fifth). More than two-thirds lived in metropolitan areas, although the greatest number lived in mid-size metros (between 250,000 and 1 million population).

    Multiracial persons. In 2000, 6.8 million Americans (including Hispanics) identified with more than one race on their census forms; they constituted 3 percent of all Americans. In Appalachia, the multiracial population (again, including Hispanics) numbered 219,000-less than 1 percent of the region's total population.

    As was the case nationally, most of the Appalachia's multiracial population came from four interracial combinations (Table 3). Persons of mixed white and American Indian heritage were the most common in Appalachia, numbering 69,000 (32 percent) of the multiracial population. More than 48,000 Appalachians (22 percent of the region's multiracial population) were both white and African American, and more than 24,000 (11 percent of multiracial persons) identified themselves as both white and Asian American. The fourth combination concerned persons listing themselves as both white and of "some other race" (the latter an option in the census form that actually is "race, not explicitly classified"). Nearly 36,000 Appalachian residents were of that combination.

    Table 3. The 2000 census counted 219,000 Appalachian residents who identified with more than one race. More than two-fifths of these persons were under age 18.


    Most Americans listing themselves as "some other race" in the census form tend to be of Hispanic origin; they often use this designation to express their nationalities (such as Mexican or Salvadoran). Indeed, 52 percent of Appalachian residents listing a "white-other race" combination (19,000 in all) were Hispanic. (In the rest of the country, where the white-other race combination was the largest chosen on the 2000 census by multiracial people, Hispanics made up 67 percent of the white-other group.)

    Thanks to the surge in interracial marriages and births since 1970, the multiracial population is especially young, as Table 3 shows. Children under 18 were 43 percent of Appalachia's multiracial population in 2000; children under 5 were almost 16 percent. By comparison, just 24 percent of the region's overall population was under 18, and a mere 6 percent was of preschool age. Children made up nearly half of Appalachia's white-Asian population, and more than three-fourths of its residents who listed themselves as both white and African American. (Among persons identifying with more than one racial group, the relative proportions were similar outside the region-42 percent of multiracial persons were under 18, and 14 percent were under age 5.)

    For the most part, the same distributional patterns in the multiracial population held throughout the region, although there were some exceptions. In northern Appalachia, for example, persons identifying themselves as white and black made up the largest multiracial combination-26,000, versus 25,000 for persons of white-American Indian heritage. The white-black combination also was the most populous multiracial group in the region's large metropolitan areas. Nearly half of the multiracial persons in Appalachia's Distressed counties (and in counties that did not border a metropolitan area) considered themselves white and American Indian. However, the white-American Indian combination was only the third largest interracial group in the more urban Attainment counties (behind both the white-other race and white-African American combinations).

    Despite their small numbers, recent trends in interracial relationships, the high share of children in the multiracial population, and even the very existence of a "more than one race" option in the 2000 census form all presage a significant change in the way Appalachians-indeed, all Americans-think about race. Indeed, the above data suggest that persons identifying with more than one race will become a greater part of the Appalachian (and the total U.S.) population in future decades.

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    Post Racial and Ethnic Patterns within Appalachia

    Northern, Central, and Southern Appalachia. As has been the case historically, Appalachia's minority population remained concentrated in the region's southern areas as the 21st century began. Southern Appalachia, in fact, was home to 2 million of the region's 2.8 million residents who were members of minority groups; minorities made up 19 percent of the subregion's 10.7 million residents in 2000. In contrast, just 7 percent of northern Appalachia's population of 10 million (673,000) was minority, as was only 4 percent of central Appalachia's (92,000 out of 2.2 million).

    In all three subregions, non-Hispanic African Americans were the largest single minority group, although blacks were barely half of central Appalachia's minority population and less than three-fifths of northern Appalachia's. (African Americans were 71 percent of the minority population in southern Appalachia.) Hispanics were the second largest minority in all three subregions, yet persons of more than one race outnumbered non-Hispanic Asians in northern and central Appalachia.

    The rapid growth of Appalachia's minority population was felt in all three subregions. The minority population in central and southern Appalachia grew slightly more than 50 percent in the 1990s; northern Appalachia's increased 46 percent. As expected, the Hispanic population grew especially quickly during the decade, particularly in southern Appalachia, where the Hispanic population quintupled. (Of Appalachia's 328,000 additional Latino residents, 272,000 of them were in the region's southern counties.)

    The states. Among the states in the Appalachian region, Alabama's Appalachian counties had the largest number of minorities (719,000) as of 2000. Indeed, the Yellowhammer State was the only one in the region where more minorities resided inside Appalachia than outside it. The Appalachian sections of Georgia and Pennsylvania-buoyed by the Atlanta and Pittsburgh metro areas, respectively-also had more than 400,000 minority residents each in 2000. (These three states alone accounted for 57 percent of Appalachia's minority residents.) There were more than 200,000 minorities in the western Carolinas, East Tennessee, and northeastern Mississippi.

    At 34 percent, Mississippi's Appalachian counties had the highest percentage of minorities, with the Appalachian sections of Alabama (25 percent), South Carolina (22 percent), and Georgia (20 percent) following. In the Appalachian sections of eight of the other nine states, minority residents were less than 10 percent of the total population. In every state with Appalachian and non-Appalachian sections-even in Mississippi and Alabama-minorities made up a smaller share in the Appalachian portion than in the rest of the state. (In Maryland, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia, minorities were less than 10 percent of the population within Appalachia and at least 30 percent of the residents in the rest of the state)

    Non-Hispanic African Americans were the largest single minority group in each state; they were less than half of the minority population in just Georgia and Kentucky. With 606,000 black Appalachian residents (nearly one-third of the region's black population), Alabama had the largest number. Georgia had Appalachia's largest number of Hispanics-159,000, slightly fewer than the 193,000 non-Hispanic blacks who resided the Peach State's Appalachian counties. Half of Appalachia's non-Hispanic Asian population lived in Georgia and Pennsylvania alone, while Alabama and North Carolina had the largest numbers of American Indians (single-race). (Alabama and Pennsylvania had the largest numbers of American Indians who also identified with another race in 2000.) One in five Appalachian residents who were of two or more races lived in Pennsylvania, while more than one in 10 each called Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee home.

    Although every state increased its minority population, there was much variation among the states. In northern Georgia, for example, the minority population tripled, while the Hispanic population increased nearly seven-fold. By contrast, the minority populations in the Appalachian sections of Mississippi and Alabama increased less than 30 percent-well under the regional average. Hispanic growth exceeded total minority growth in nearly every state; the number of additional Hispanics exceeded the number of additional non-Hispanic blacks in seven states (including Georgia, North Carolina, and West Virginia).

    Economic development categories. Nearly two-thirds of Appalachian residents (14.7 million of 22.9 million) and more than half the region's minority population (1.5 million of 2.8 million) lived in the region's Transitional counties. But another one-fourth of Appalachia's minority population-704,000-lived in the region's nine Attainment counties, which were 22 percent minority as a result-the greatest presence among the four groups. By contrast, racial and ethnic minorities made up just 10 percent of the populations in the both the region's Transitional and Distressed counties. Fourteen percent of the Competitive county population was minority. That minorities were the greatest presence (proportionally) in the Attainment counties is likely not a coincidence; virtually all the counties in this group were in southern Appalachia or in metropolitan areas. Among all four categories, most minority Appalachians were non-Hispanic black, with Hispanics the second-largest minority.

    As with the region's overall population growth, minority population growth in Appalachia during the 1990s was greatest in its Competitive and Attainment counties. Competitive counties collectively increased their minority populations 91 percent between 1990 and 2000, while Attainment counties added 69 percent. Minority growth was much slower in the Transitional and Distressed counties (42 percent and 22 percent, respectively).

    As elsewhere, Hispanic growth outpaced that of other minorities-more than quadrupling in the Competitive and Attainment counties, and more than doubling in the Transitional and Distressed counties.

    Metropolitan and nonmetropolitan Appalachia. In 2000, 2.1 million minority Appalachian residents (74 percent of the region's minority population) lived in metropolitan areas. About 910,000-nearly one-third-lived in metros of at least 1 million population (large metros). By contrast, just 60 percent of the region's non-Hispanic whites resided in metros, and just 21 percent called large metros home. As a result, minorities were nearly 15 percent of the region's metropolitan population and close to 18 percent of the population of large metros. Non-Hispanic blacks made up about two-thirds of the minority residents in large and mid-size Appalachian metros, and about three-fifths of minorities in small metros (250,000 or fewer persons)-with Hispanics the second largest minority.

    About 430,000 members of minority groups called Appalachia's micropolitan areas (the rough equivalent of small-town areas) home, while just 301,000 lived outside "core-based statistical areas" (CBSAs)-a term the U.S. Office of Management and Budget uses to describe both metropolitan and micropolitan areas. (Micropolitan areas, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), contain urban clusters of between 10,000 and 49,999 population, the county where the urban cluster is located, and any other county with strong economic ties to the main county, as measured by commuting patterns. This report uses all such designations as of June 2003.) Minorities constituted just 9 percent of the population in Appalachia's micropolitan areas and 8 percent of the region's outside-CBSA population. And minorities made up an even smaller share of the more rural Appalachian counties-just 6 percent of the population of counties not bordering a metro area and with an urban population of less than 2,500. (According to the Census Bureau, the term "urban" refers to the presence of a settlement of at least 2,500 persons. The terms "metropolitan" and "nonmetropolitan," by contrast, concerns the commuting ties between two counties. Therefore, a county can have an urban population and still be considered nonmetropolitan.)

    Between 1990 and 2000, Appalachia's minority population increased about 50 percent in metropolitan and micropolitan areas, but less than 40 percent outside CBSAs. The Hispanic Appalachian population more than tripled in most types of areas, and nearly quadrupled in large metros. In most types of metros, micros, and outside-CBSA areas, additional Latinos accounted for more of the increase than any other single minority group. Non-Hispanic blacks held that distinction in large metros such as Atlanta and Pittsburgh, however.

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    Post Race, Ethnicity, and Selected Economic and Social Patterns

    Industrial structure. Both white and minority workers in Appalachia were most likely to be found in the rapidly growing-and diverse-service sector. (This report defines "the service sector" to include information services, finance, insurance, real estate, education, health and social services, entertainment and recreation, food service, public administration, and a host of other services. Persons employed in the service sector work in a variety of occupations-from those requiring college and advanced degrees (such as attorneys, bank managers, and teachers) to jobs requiring relatively few skills and no more than a high school diploma (for example, convenience store clerks, office couriers, and restaurant servers).) In 2000, service-related jobs employed 50 percent of the region's 9.2 million white workers and 52 percent of its 1.1 million minority workers. Throughout the region, minority workers were more likely to be in the service industries than white ones. For example, about 65 percent of minorities in northern Appalachia worked in the service sector, compared with 53 percent of white workers in the subregion. In the 271 Appalachian counties with enough African Americans for data to be available, 55 percent of black workers were in the service sector (Figure 10). (Public-use, county-level data on industry and class of worker by race are only available from the census' Summary File 4, which is subject to a population threshold for data. Population, social, economic, and housing characteristics are only available for areas (states, counties, neighborhoods, etc.) with at least 100 persons of a certain population group (such as race, ethnicity, or ancestry) and at least 50 unweighted cases (for the tabulation of sample, or long form, data). In Appalachia, 271 of the region's 410 counties had data for African Americans; 209 had available statistics for Hispanics.) Appalachia's Hispanic workers, however, do not seem to be nearly as likely to work in the service industry. Service-sector jobs employed just 38 percent of Hispanics in the 209 Appalachian counties for which data for Latinos are available.


    Appalachian minorities were also more likely than their white counterparts to be working in the manufacturing sector, although the share of persons in manufacturing (durable and nondurable goods) was much lower than the service sector for both whites and minorities. Manufacturing employed about 23 percent of Appalachia's minority workers in 2000, compared with 19 percent of the region's white workers. Twenty-nine percent of the region's Latinos worked in manufacturing (see Figure 10). White-minority patterns of manufacturing employment varied within Appalachia. In northern Appalachia, for example, whites were more likely than minorities to be in manufacturing (17 percent to 13 percent), while in the region's Distressed counties, the gap between whites and minorities was much larger: 29 percent of minorities in these counties worked in manufacturing, compared to 16 percent of whites.

    Whites were more likely than minorities to work in Appalachia's extractive industries (agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and mining), although only 2 percent of whites were employed in these sectors. Not surprisingly, the larger percentages of workers in these sectors were in the more rural parts of the region; in central Appalachia, for example, 6 percent of whites and nearly 5 percent of minorities were in extractive industries.

    More than three-fourths of Appalachia's white and minority workers (76 percent and 80 percent, respectively) were employees in private businesses (either for-profit or non-profit). Government—federal, state, and local—employed another 14 percent of whites and minorities. As in rest of the country, whites in Appalachia were more likely than minorities to be self-employed; about 10 percent of white workers in the regions had their own businesses, compared with nearly 6 percent of minority workers.

    Data for counties with available data for Hispanics suggest that Appalachia's Latino workers were even more likely to be in the private sector; nearly 88 percent were employed by private businesses. By contrast, only 6 percent were employed by the federal, state, or local government—less than half the share for whites and other minorities. Citizenship requirements for government jobs provide one possible explanation for this discrepancy. Nationally, only 71 percent of Latinos were U.S. citizens in 2000, compared with 98 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 97 percent of blacks.

    Poverty status. Poor people in Appalachia made up 13.6 percent of the region's total population, just over one percentage point higher than the percentage of poor people in the rest of the United States. But the gap between the two sections widens when considering both whites and minority residents. About 12 percent of Appalachian whites and 25 percent of minority Appalachian residents were in poverty in 1999-somewhat higher than the 8 percent for non-Hispanic whites and 22 percent for minorities nationally. Indeed, the 2000 census figures show significant racial and ethnic poverty gaps in Appalachia (Table 4). The rates for most minority groups exceeded 20 percent—and reached 27 percent for African Americans (including Hispanics). For every group except American Indians, poverty levels were higher in Appalachia than in the rest of the country. Poverty rates for Appalachian minorities as a whole (and for blacks and Hispanics) exceeded the rates for the region's whites for all states, subregions, economic development categories, and metropolitan/micropolitan levels. Of course, the gaps are wider in some areas than in others. In northwestern South Carolina, 9 percent of non-Hispanic whites lived in poverty, compared with 24 percent of African Americans and Latinos. By contrast, the racial-ethnic gap in eastern Kentucky was proportionally narrower—24 percent for whites, 31 percent for blacks, and 37 percent for Hispanics.

    The greater poverty rates among minority groups have yielded interesting patterns in the region's poverty population. For example, racial and ethnic minorities make up 12 percent of Appalachian residents, but in 1999, they were 22 percent (659,000) of the region's 3 million persons living in poverty. In some Appalachian areas with higher minority concentrations, minorities made up even greater percentages of the poor. For example, African Americans made up almost three-fifths of the poor population in northeastern Mississippi and more than two-fifths of the poor in northern Alabama and northwestern South Carolina. Hispanics were one-sixth (and blacks, one-seventh) of northern Georgia's poverty population. By contrast, even though eastern Kentucky's 10,000 poor minority residents were 30 percent of the area's minority population, they constituted just 4 percent of the area's total poverty population.

    Table 4. While 12 percent of white Appalachian residents lived in poverty in 1999, the rate for most minority groups in the region exceeded 20 percent.


    Education. The educational attainment of the adult population provides the key to economic development and reflects an area's potential human capital. While record percentages of Appalachian adults completed high school and college in 2000 (77 percent and 18 percent, respectively), a gap remains between whites and minorities in the region. While 78 percent of non-Hispanic white Appalachian adults had completed high school and 18 percent had finished college, only 69 percent of the region's minorities had finished high school, and 16 percent had finished college. Educational attainment rates also vary among some of Appalachia's minority groups (Figure 11). Almost 70 percent of the region's African Americans had at least a high school diploma in 2000, but only 12 percent possessed a college degree. Among Appalachia's Hispanic population, just 51 percent of adults had finished high school, but 13 percent had a college degree-better than the national average of 10 percent. And of the region's small Asian American population, 83 percent had graduated from high school, while 51 percent had finished college.


    As with other measures discussed earlier, differences between white and minority education levels in Appalachia varied within the region. In southern Appalachia, for example, 77 percent of whites had completed high school and 20 percent had a college degree. The corresponding rates for southern Appalachian blacks were 69 percent and 13 percent, respectively; among Latinos, 46 percent had high school diplomas and 11 percent had college degrees. Hispanic adults in northern Appalachia compared more favorably; 69 percent had finished high school in 2000, while 19 percent had a college degree. (That BA/BS attainment rate actually was greater than the 18 percent rate for northern Appalachia's white population.)

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