Iowa’s apparently lost its status as the “whitest” state in the nation. A few years ago a review of U.S. census data found the Hawkeye State had the highest percentage of any state of people who classified themselves as Caucasian, white.
Beth Henning, coordinator of the state Data Center program at the State Library of Iowa, says the number is still high, but not the top. Ninty-one-percent of the population in Iowa is categorized as white non-Hispanic, but Maine is higher at 96-percent and so are New Hampshire with 94-point-one-percent, Vermont with 95-point-9 percent and West Virginia at 94-point-four percent.
Iowa’s Hispanic population is three-point-five percent, which is far lower than some states but not the lowest in the U.S. “There are a lot of states lower,” notes Henning, including Minnesota with a Hispanic population that’s three-point-6 percent of its total, Mississippi with one-point-seven, Missouri at two-point seven, and others.
The state does have other minority residents, but they’re also in the single digits as a slice of the overall population. One-point four percent of the population’s Asian, just zero-point-five percent are American Indian or Alaska native, and two-point-three percent of Iowans are Black. The report’s based on the latest census data available, which is from July 2005. That was just released last month, says Henning, who points out that if Iowa doesn’t have the highest percentage of white residents in the nation, it’s still pretty likely that you’ll spot a blue-eyed, blond-haired neighbor during the day.
Henning says there are several states where the combined minorities make up a majority of the population. In California, for example, she says the white, non-Hispanic population makes up 43-point-eight of the total.