Oakland's population is now 440,646, up 12.8% from the 2010 total of 390,724. Credit: Darwin BondGraham

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Oakland’s population grew by 50,000 over the past decade, with increases to the city’s Hispanic, white, and Asian populations, while the Black population shrank, according to Census Bureau data released last week. 

Oakland now has a total population of 440,646, up 12.8% from the 2010 total of 390,724. The city is 28% Hispanic (up from 25% a decade ago), 27% white (up from 25%), 20% Black (down from 27%), and 15% Asian (down from 16%), the census data shows. 

The city’s overall gains are due largely to growth in the Hispanic and white populations, which increased by 28% and 18.6% respectively. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of Hispanic people living in Oakland jumped by 27,775, from 99,068 to 126,843. 

The number of Asian people living in Oakland grew by 7.3%, even though their percentage of the total population fell slightly. 

The number of Black people living in the city dropped 14%, continuing a 40-year trend. In 1980, Oakland was 47% Black. In 1990, Black residents made up 44%, and the population has continued to decline more dramatically in recent years. 

Data from the previous decennial census showed that Oakland’s Black population  dropped by 25% between 2000 and 2010. At the time, Black ministers and politicians in Oakland pointed to a variety of factors, such as rising housing costs, lack of job opportunities, and public safety concerns, which were causing  people to leave for the suburbs and other cities like Fairfield, Antioch, and Stockton. The Black population rose in those three cities over the last decade, according to the latest census data, while also dropping in nearby Berkeley and Richmond. 

The decline in Oakland’s Black population is even more pronounced among children: The number of Black youth under 18 in the city decreased by 29%. The number of Asian youth also declined by 13%, while the white and Hispanic youth populations grew by 16% and nearly 12% respectively. 

Oakland’s Diversity Index, which measures the likelihood that two people chosen at random will be from different ethnic groups, grew slightly from 76% in 2010 to 77% in 2020. 

David DeBolt reports on City Hall and policing for The Oaklandside. He spent 12 years working for daily newspapers in the Bay Area, including on the Peninsula and Solano County. He joined the Bay Area News Group in 2012 where he covered a variety of beats, most recently as a senior breaking news reporter. During his time at BANG, DeBolt covered Oakland City Hall, the Raiders stadium saga and the A’s search for a new ballpark, as well as the Oakland Police Department and police reform efforts. He was part of the East Bay Times staff honored with the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.