Chatham County’s Hispanic population continues to grow substantially, increasing outreach services and programs along the way.
According to 2012 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Hispanics make up 5.9 percent of the county’s 276,434 residents, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from only two years prior. Between 2010 and 2000, the Hispanic population increased 14.3 percent.
Statewide, Hispanics constitute 9.1 percent of the 9.9 million residents. They are the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority, comprising 16.9 percent (53 million) of the population. Only Mexico has a larger Hispanic population, which is projected to increase to 31 percent of America’s population by 2060.
Perhaps nowhere has local growth been more apparent than in Garden City, a city of just more than 8,700 residents in 2010, where the Hispanic population grew to 16.7 percent from 6 percent in 2000. Mayor Tennyson Holder said there has since been a big decline in the population. Perhaps a result of the state’s tough 2011 immigration law, he suggested, but it remains significant.
Port Wentworth, which had 5,306 residents, has also seen its Hispanic population grow, from 3.1 percent to 8.2 percent, in the same period.
More affordable housing compared to Savannah, the county’s cultural and economic hub, has largely been attributed for the growth in those areas. The western side of the county is also experiencing a lot of building, attracting those looking for construction jobs.