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7 Most Ethnically Diverse States in America

 In most American cities, there is rapid racial and ethnic diversification currently ongoing and this fact is the inspiration behind this compilation of the most ethnically diverse states in America. This has been caused by several factors such as high rates of immigration, a rise in native birth rates and also an increase in interracial partnerships. All these factors have considerably modified the economic landscape and social fabric of America.

Since 2011, nearly more than 50% of all the babies being born in America belong to a racial or ethnic minority. It is projected that by 2020, the overall minority population is going to be 40% from 30% in 2000. However, the change is not just limited to the following 4 years. Actually, experts believe that by 2050, there will no longer be a single majority ethnic group in America.

As a result of such forecasts, it is more important to close down the racial and ethnic gaps across American cities. There are several ways that Americans can achieve this, such as through promoting more minority-owned enterprises and also narrowing the differences in income and educational attainment.

In evaluating the most ethnically diverse cities in America, each city was evaluated based on 3 main metrics. These include ethnic and racial diversity, place of birth diversity and language diversity. The outcome and also expert commentary are discussed here below.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America


America is known worldwide for its multiculturalism. However, immigration is still amongst the most contentious issues, with racism being a reality, while the recession has brought renewed interest in the workforce demographics.

What is clear is that each state has its own unique story when it comes to diversity. For instance, border states such as California, Texas and Arizona have to enforce most of the nation’s immigration policies, whereas big urban towns like New York and San Francisco have to deal with integrating immigrants to limited real estate. Here are the most ethnically diverse states in America.


7. Washington

Washington shares an extensive border with Canada and it is difficult to clearly point out how this has influenced its current immigrant population. Nevertheless, the state is known for being a preferred destination for many Asian immigrants coming in from the different side of Pacific Ocean. Yet, the Asian population is at 7%, while the Latino or Hispanics are at 10%. Furthermore, Washington is also ranked amongst the top states with a high part of the population identifying themselves like 2 races or more, which reflects is long immigration history.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America

Joseph Sohm/


6. Virginia

Virginia is included in this list of most ethnically diverse states in America due to its decent results in all the main metrics of diversity. Even though it does not necessarily stick out in either of the key metrics, the fact that it shares a border line with Washington, the location of many foreign embassies as well as several international organizations such as the IMF and World Bank probably contributes to the diverse population. The biggest non-white population group is currently the African American community, which accounts for 20%.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America

Sean Pavone/


5. New York

Of the estimated 8 million residents of New York, over 3 million were born out of America. Actually, the general foreign population is believed to be at 20%, which is a very high percentage. This is likely because of the high rates of foreign birth rates in comparison with other American states.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America



4. New Mexico

This state is a key hotspot for immigration debates as is part of the shifting demographics of immigration in the country. Continuous immigration coming from Mexico means that there is a higher population of Latino or Hispanic residents compared to non-Hispanic people in this state. While 40% of the population is the white community, 45% is made up of Hispanic people.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America


3. Maryland

Just like Virginia, Maryland owes most of its diverse identity to the neighboring city of Washington. The suburbs of Bethesda and Potomac have been well known for distinctive multicultural populations, because foreigners who work for Washington’s international organizations usually settle in Maryland. Most notably, blacks make up nearly 30% of the state residents.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America


2. Nevada

Nevada experienced a dramatic population growth from 2000 to 2010, at 32%. While it is among the landlocked states, Nevada has still been able to draw together a diverse and multicultural population. In fact, it is in the top ten rankings in the mixed race and foreign-born populations. With 20% born out of America and 4% being mixed race, it seems the attractive casinos in Las Vegas continue to attract people from all walks of life.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America


1. California

The huge coastline and the fact that it also borders Mexico have made it attractive for many immigrants. It ranks highly for non-white and mixed-race residents. Moreover, the non-white population in California is evenly distributed as compared to other states; with significant numbers of blacks, Asians and Latinos.

Most Ethnically Diverse States in America

These most ethnically diverse states in America show how multiculturalism fosters economic growth, but there is still a lot more that must be done to promote the rights of the minorities.