Census Race Data Shows Big Change For Central Wyoming
The way in which race has been defined over last 30 to 40 years means looking at census numbers can be complicated. As the black community looks to celebrate Juneteenth this weekend--the date recognized as the date when the last slaves were freed-- A look at race data and those identifying themselves as black or of mixed race in Natrona County has gone up substantially.
"The people who identify themselves as either black, or African American alone or in combination with one or more other races in Natrona County; that was a 70 percent increase. That seems like a pretty big increase in 2010 from 2000."
Amy Bittner, with the U.S. Census Bureau, says the face of Wyoming's population is changing even if overall numbers remain about the same. She says race data since 2000 has become much more detailed.
For example, Hispanic is recognized as an ethnicity with multi-race options and black Hispanic is just one race differentiation within that category. Bittner points out that the option to check more than one race only just started in the year 2000, "and that's part of the difficulty if you want to measure different race groups over time, because the way the race question has been asked since the census started counting people has dramatically changed."
Since the year 2000 those in Natrona County identifying as black-only went up 31 percent.
Over all in Natrona County the number of people identifying as a minority race has gone up 49 percent.
If you want to celebrate Juneteenth this Saturday, June 18th, the happenings are at Matt Campfield Park in North Casper starting at 3 p.m.
Follow this link to more information on Casper's Juneteenth observation.
Here are a number of links to U.S. Census Bureau race data for Wyoming and Natrona County.
Here you can find 1990 data, http://eadiv.state.wy.us/pop90/pop90.htm