36th Congressional District sees surprise dip in Hispanics

September 19th, 2013 | by Barrett Newkirk | Comments

Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show California’s 36th Congressional District lost roughly 9,000 Hispanic residents from 2011 and 2012.

While the lower estimate may not represent an ongoing trend, it’s worth noting considering the growing Hispanic population in Riverside County and California.

The district, which covers the Coachella Valley and western Riverside County, had an estimated 332,407 Hispanic residents in 2012. The drop is within the survey’s margin of error, meaning the count could be off by several thousand people because of limited sampling. The census will release more accurate estimates later this year.

The 36th District is represented by Raul Ruiz, the son of migrant farmworkers and a Palm Desert Democrat who in 2012 defeated seven-term incumbent Republican Rep. Mary Bono.

The census found Hispanics and Latinos made up a slightly higher percentage of the county’s total population in 2012: 46.6 percent compared to 46.1 percent a year earlier. The largest segment of that population by far came from people with Mexican heritage, 41.7 percent.

The state has predicted that California’s Hispanic population will soon outnumber the white population. The latest census survey found that whites account for an estimated 39.2 percent of the state’s population, while Hispanics make up 38.2 percent.

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