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‘US News and World Report’ Reveals the Top 10 US States With the Least Racial Diversity

The U.S. Census Bureau published the 2020 Census in early August, revealing an increasingly diverse overall population within the United States — and, for the first time, a decline in people who identified solely as white. Although there has been a dramatic shift in U.S. demographics between 2010 and 2020, changes (or lack thereof) in the racial makeup were also very regional. 

U.S. News and World Report’s Kaia Hubbard compiled a list of the least racially diverse states in the U.S. while noting that producing these types of lists has become more of a challenge recently since “a growing number of people identify with more than one race in the U.S.”

“The white population remains the largest racial or ethnic group in the country, at 57.8% of the population, but that group has decreased from 63.7% in the last decade,” Hubbard said. “The multiracial population has increased from 9 million people to 33.8 million in the last 10 years — a 276% increase.”

In addition to general population figures, the U.S. News and World Report list also used data from the Census Bureau’s “diversity index,” a measurement recently created by the agency “which indicates the likelihood that two people within a population chosen at random will be from different race and ethnic groups.” 

This year’s list of the least diverse states in the nation, in descending order:


10. South Dakota

Population: 886,667
Diversity index: 35.6%

Racial Makeup

• White: 79.6%
• American Indian and Alaska Native: 8.4%
• Hispanic or Latino: 4.4%


9. Kentucky

Population: 4,505,836
Diversity index: 32.8%

Racial Makeup

• White: 81.3%
• Black or African American: 7.9%
• Hispanic or Latino: 4.6%


8. North Dakota

Population: 779,094
Diversity index: 32.6%

Racial Makeup

• White: 81.7%
• American Indian and Alaska Native: 4.8%
• Hispanic or Latino: 4.3%


7. Wyoming

Population: 576,851
Diversity index: 32.4%

Racial Makeup

• White: 81.4%
• Hispanic or Latino: 10.2%
• Two or more races: 4.1%


6. Iowa

Population: 3,190,369
Diversity index: 30.8%

Racial Makeup

• White: 82.7%
• Hispanic or Latino: 6.8%
• Black or African American: 4.1%


5. Montana

Population: 1,084,225
Diversity index: 30.1%

Racial Makeup:

• White: 83.1%
• American Indian and Alaska Native: 6.0%
• Two or more races: 5.0%


4. New Hampshire

Population: 1,377,529
Diversity index: 23.6%

Racial Makeup

• White: 87.2%
• Hispanic or Latino: 4.3%
• Two or more races: 4.0%


2. Vermont [tie]

Population: 643,077
Diversity index: 20.2%

Racial Makeup

• White: 89.1%
• Two or more races: 4.6%
• Hispanic or Latino: 2.4%


2. West Virginia [tie]

Population: 1,793,716
Diversity index: 20.2%

Racial Makeup

• White: 89.1%
• Two or more races: 4.0%
• Black or African American: 3.6%


1. Maine

Population: 1,362,359
Diversity index: 18.5%

Racial Makeup

• White: 90.2%
• Two or more races: 3.9%
• Hispanic or Latino: 2.0%


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

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