New population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week confirmed a historic point for San Diego’s growing diversity. For the first time in county history, the number of the white, non-Hispanic people weren’t the majority of residents.

A decade ago, they accounted for 55 percent of San Diego County. By last year, it was 48 percent. The ratio flipped because the number of white, non-Hispanic residents declined by 49,000 as the number of people from all other races and ethnicities increased by 330,000.

For a more detailed picture of the county’s new makeup, check out the maps below. Each shows the percentage of white, non-Hispanic residents in different sections of the county. The darker the blue, the more diversity.

Racial and ethnic diversity used to be concentrated in the county’s southwest — places such as Chula Vista, National City and southeastern San Diego — and in pockets of several northern cities like Escondido and San Marcos. But in the last decade, the surrounding areas and even distant swaths of the backcountry became more diverse. In most cases, areas with the highest concentrations of white residents are more racially and ethnically diverse compared to a decade earlier.

Of course, that’s not to say everything’s changed about the county’s demographic makeup. In the city of San Diego, a clear racial difference continues to exist between northern and southern neighborhoods, but to a lesser degree than a decade ago.

Before you ask, I’ll be posting more neighborhood-level maps and analysis soon. I wanted to post the countywide maps first so you can see the overall picture. If you notice anything that I should mention when I post the neighborhood maps, please send me an email or post a comment.

Please contact Keegan Kyle directly at or 619.550.5668 and follow him on Twitter:

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