Census: Redwood City Becoming More Diverse

In the past 10 years, the percent of the population who is Hispanic and Latino has increased more than seven percent.

California Census numbers show that Redwood City’s white population has decreased almost 9 percent while the Hispanic and Latino population has increased 7.6 percent. This increase in the Hispanic and Latino population trends higher than county and state numbers—3.5 percent and 5.3 percent. (See more detailed charts below)

The Asian population and multi-racial population increased 1.8 and 1.3 percent respectively, while the Black and African-American population remained about the same at 2.4 percent.

“I’m excited by the diversity Redwood City has,” said Vice Mayor Alicia Aguirre and Co-Chair of the Latino Leadership Council. “It makes a big different in how we address education, business and community events.”

Aguirre added that city staff and officials need to ensure that programs are inclusive of people of all backgrounds. She said the new data will spur examination of how best to communicate to residents, particularly what languages.

“It’s great to see a growing Asian population as well, since they tend to gravitate more towards San Francisco,” she added. 

But she noted the lack of clarity in the Census questions might not accurately reflect Redwood City's true population. In the race category, self-identifying Latino and Hispanic individuals had no box to check. Instead the Census had a separate category that labeled Hispanic or Latino as a “cultural designation.”

“Many of my students said, ‘Where do we fit in? What do we mark?’” said Aguirre, who is also a professor at . “I thought the increase would be a little higher, given the diversity of our student population.”

The increase in the Hispanic population is reflected particularly in schools in the , with Hispanics comprising 95 percent of the student body at and Garfield Elementary School, according to the 2009-2010 School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs).

“We clearly have a growing immigrant population, so we need to take a look at how we’re going to align the results to our city,” Aguirre said.


2010 Census Data:

Race, Hispanic or Latino (Cultural Designation), and 18 or Over

 Redwood City
% in Redwood City
San Mateo CountyCalifornia Total: 76,815 100 718,451 37,253,956 Population of one race: 72,625 94.5 680,241 35,438,572 White
46,255 60.2 383,535 21,453,934 Some Other Race 14,967 19.5 84,529 6,317,372 Asian 8.216 10.7 178,118 4,861,007 Black or African American
1,881 2.4 20,436 2,299,072 American Indian and Alaska Native


3,306 362,801 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
795 1.0 10,317 144,386 Two or More Races: 4,190 5.5 38,210 1,815,384 Hispanic or Latino 29,810 38.8 182,502 14,013,719 Age 18 or older 58,622 76.3 558,679 27,958,916

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census

2000 Census Data:

Race, Hispanic or Latino (Cultural Designation), and 18 or Over

 Redwood City
$ in Redwood CitySan Mateo County
California Total: 75,402 100 707,161 33,871,648 Population of one race: 72,221 95.8 671,660 32,264,002 White
52,008 69.0 420,683 20,170,059 Some Other Race 10,535 14.0 71,910 5,682,241 Asian 6,715 8.9 141,684 3,697,513 Black or African American
1,916 2.5 24,840 2,263,882 American Indian and Alaska Native
384 1.0 3,140 333,346 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
663 1.0 9,403 116,961 Population of two or more races: 3,181 4.2 35,501 1,607,646 Hispanic or Latino 23,557 31.2 154,708 10,966,556 Age 18 or older 57,911 76.8 545,061 24,621,819

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Census


State Numbers

According to Census Bureau figures released today, the state’s population rose 10 percent from April 2000 to April 2010. The Golden State grew from 33.8 million residents to 37.3 million resident during that decade, the census reported.

California appears to be moving toward the middle – at least when it comes to where they call home. Most of that growth appears to have come in the counties that span the middle of the state.

Riverside County had the biggest jump, increasing 41 percent from 2000 to 2010. The city of Beaumont in that county leaped 224 percent from 11,384 to 36,887 people.

Next was Placer County with a 40 percent jump. The city of Lincoln skyrocketed 282 percent from 11,205 to 42,819 people, largely due to the Thunder Valley casino that was constructed in 2004.

Other counties that grew more than 20 percent included Imperial, Kern, Madera, Merced and Tulare.

Los Angeles County’s population edged up 3 percent. San Francisco County’s population also rose 3 percent, while San Mateo County grew only 1.6 percent.

Overall, population growth for the nine-county Bay Area slowed to 5.4 percent, which puts the region at risk of losing a congressional seat. A new statewide redistricting commission is using 2010 Census figures to consider redrawing political boundaries. 

“It’s important to realize that we still belong to a bigger community,” Aguirre said. “Especially since we’re in a lot of areas. Redistricting is going to highly impact our community.”

The only counties that saw population decreases were three small regions in the Sierra Nevada. They were Alpine County (down 3 percent), Plumas County (down 4 percent) and Sierra County (down 9 percent).

Associate Regional Editor David Mills and Local Editor Martha Ross contributed to this story.

Janna April 14, 2011 at 02:50 AM
Redwood City isn't diverse as Ms. Aguirre said. In the context she is referring it's becoming more and more Hispanic. Redwood City schools reflect this demographic, heavily Hispanic at schools like Selby Lane. If a lot of the schools are comprised of one ethnic group, where is the diversity in that? As long as the majority if Hispanic, then that school is considered "diverse" although in reality it's not. If it was mostly caucasian, then the schools would be blamed for not being diverse enough. It's a total joke!!!!! Give me a break!!! I can't even send my kids to our local school Selby Lane thanks to "diversity"!!! No one in my neighborhood wants their kids to go there now I'm stuck paying for private schools. Well you know what????!!! That really stinks!!!!
Mecala August 08, 2011 at 06:39 PM
I agree with you Janna. There may be diversity overall within the district, but the district is challenged to be integrated. Although we have been seeing an slight increase over the years in Hispanic/Latino students, for example, in schools like Clifford and Roy Cloud (examples of some integration) there is little diversity in schools like Selby, Taft, or Garfield. And many of the Hispanic/Latino students, for example, who do attend schools like Roy, Clifford, and North Star are attending outside their "home school". I am uncertain as to how this happens. The integration problem is directly related to the "home school" format. Those who live in certain neighborhoods are required to attend the schools in that neighborhood. With this format, I'm afraid, integration will never be a reality because of the distinct socioeconomic differences of Redwood City neighborhoods.


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