Sarasota.

The U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday released the results of its most recent survey, showing how the nation's population has grown and become more diverse in the last 10 years, trends that are mirrored in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Overall, the nation's population grew by 7.4 percent between 2010 and 2020, the lowest rate of growth since the 1930s. Local growth exceeded the national rate. In Sarasota County, the population rose by 14.4 percent, from 379,000 in 2010 to 434,000 last year, while in Manatee County, the population increased by 23.8 percent, from 323,000 to 400,000.

As it grows, our area is also becoming increasingly diverse. In 2010, 90.2 percent of Sarasota County residents were identified as white; that portion had dropped to 82.7 percent by last year. In Manatee County, the percentage of white residents declined from 81.9 percent in 2010 to 72.3 percent in 2020. Meanwhile, over the past decade, Sarasota County's Hispanic or Latino population rose by 44 percent, and Manatee County's increased by 48 percent.

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