New Census Data Reveals Santa Barbara County Racial Shifts

Latino and Asian Populations Increased While Number of White and Black Residents Decreased

Credit: Courtesy

Preliminary 2020 Census data, which provides a first look at the total populations and racial compositions of American cities and counties, reveals Santa Barbara County has grown by 24,334 residents — or 5.7 percent — since 2010. The cities of Solvang and Guadalupe grew the most with 16.8 percent and 13.8 percent increases, respectively, while Santa Barbara and Carpinteria saw the smallest bumps of 0.3 and 1.7 percent, respectively. 

Over the last decade, the data also shows, the county’s white population has decreased by 9 percent while its Hispanic or Latino population jumped by 15.9 percent. The cities with the biggest drops in white residents were Santa Maria (22 percent) and Lompoc (13.7). The number of Asian residents countywide increased dramatically by 29.5 percent as the Black population shrank by 10.7 percent. The racial breakdown of Santa Barbara County is now as follows:

• Hispanic or Latino: 47.0 percent

• White: 41.2 percent

• Asian: 5.7 percent

• Two or more races: 3.7 percent

• Black or African American: 1.4 percent

• Other race: 0.5 percent

• American Indian and Alaskan Native: 0.4 percent

• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1 percent

Additional Census data, which will be used in upcoming redistricting efforts, is scheduled to be released in late September.


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