Diversity booming in SD’s largest citySioux Falls’ minority populations have doubled and almost tripled in some cases during the past decade, U.S. Census Bureau housing statistics show — a trend apparently fueled in large part by jobs and refugee resettlement.
By: AP , The Associated Press
Sioux Falls’ minority populations have doubled and almost tripled in some cases during the past decade, U.S. Census Bureau housing statistics show — a trend apparently fueled in large part by jobs and refugee resettlement.
From 2000 to 2010, houses owned or rented by Hispanics and Latinos in Minnehaha County jumped from 786 to 1,723. Residences owned or rented by blacks or African Americans rose from 695 to 1,818, and American Indian numbers increased from 577 to 1,007.
Similar rates of growth occurred in Lincoln, McCook and Turner counties as well, according to Census findings.
“I know among the Hispanic and Latino populations, they are coming to Sioux Falls and South Dakota because the economy hasn’t hit as hard here as in California, Texas, Florida, New York, places like that,” said Juan Bonilla, president of the Spanish Speaking Community Association of Sioux Falls. “They are moving from those places to look for better job opportunities. And they’re looking for a place where their kids can have a good education.”
Data from the American Community Survey put Sioux Falls’ overall Hispanic and Latino population at 8,127 in 2009. There were 5,124 blacks or African Americans in the community, 3,442 American Indians and 2,930 Asians.
Bonilla said he thinks the Hispanic and Latino number is low and doesn’t include members of those groups who are in the process of gaining U.S. citizenship. He estimated that there are 22,000 Hispanics and Latinos living within a 50-mile radius of Sioux Falls, with a purchasing power in 2010 of $450 million. The majority are coming from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, he said.
AP File Photo Ghirmay Solomon, a refugee from the East African country of Eritrea, looks at the neighborhood from the front deck of his home recently in Sioux Falls.