Diversity Month, the city of Elk Grove’s annual series of cultural events that honor Elk Grove’s racially and ethnically diverse community, is coming to an end this weekend. This month, the U.S. Census Bureau released data that highlighted how Elk Grove’s diversity grew during the past decade.

Based on the 2020 Census count, Asians are now Elk Grove’s largest racial group. They slightly outnumber white residents – Asians compose more than 33% of the city’s population while whites are 32%.

The Elk Grove community underwent a major change more than 10 years ago when nonwhite residents outnumbered whites for the first time, according to the 2010 Census count. That transition to a “majority-minority” population followed the city’s homebuilding boom that attracted tens of thousands of new residents from diverse backgrounds.

 “I’m not surprised to see Elk Grove’s diversity grow,” Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen said. “We need to continue to ensure we are an inclusive city that meets the needs of all our residents.”

Elk Grove’s total population grew by more than 23,100 residents since 2010, and 176,124 people now live there.

During the 2010s, Elk Grove’s Asian and Latino population steadily grew while whites declined in numbers. The U.S. Census Bureau reported the city’s white population shrank from 70,478 in 2010 to 57,371 residents in 2020, which marks a decrease of 13,107 residents.

Latinos remain Elk Grove’s third largest ethnic group with 33,392 residents, which composes 19% of the city’s population.

In 2020, Elk Grove residents who identify as two or more races grew by more than 12,200 residents and they are now the city’s fourth largest racial group and they number as 13% of the community.

African Americans slightly grew by 682 residents and they now compose 10% of the city.

Dr. Ashok Shankar of the Interfaith Council of Elk Grove reflected on the growth of Elk Grove’s Asian population.  He told the Citizen that decades of Asian immigration to California, changes to U.S. immigration policies and visa sponsorship programs, and appealing weather conditions ultimately led to Elk Grove becoming a “microcosm of world Asian cultures.”

Shankar believes that the city’s increased Asian population has boosted the community’s acceptance of diverse cultures.

“We have come to view diversity as an intrinsic component of a healthy and a dynamic community,” he said. “We learn from each other, we recognize our differences – we honor, respect, appreciate, and celebrate our uniqueness.”

Singh-Allen is an Indian immigrant who last year became America’s first Sikh woman to be directly elected mayor. She noted that her family moved to Elk Grove in 1992 since they believed it was a safe community that’s close to “great” colleges and universities.

“As mayor, I hope to continue and celebrate our rich diversity and foster greater understanding amongst the various diverse communities,” Singh-Allen told the Citizen. “We need to be more than a demographic statistic.”

How Elk Grove’s population changed since 2010

City population:

153,015 residents (2010), 176,124 residents (2020) – an increase of 23,109 residents

Race or Ethnicity:  

Asian – 40,261 (2010), 58,982 (2020); Asians are 33% of the city population

White – 70,478 (2010), 57,371 (2020); Whites are 32% of the city population

Hispanic or Latino – 27,581 (2010), 33,392 (2020); Hispanics or Latinos are 19% of the city population

Two or More Races – 12,101 (2010), 24,374 (2020); biracial or multiracial people are 13% of the city population  

African American – 17,172 (2010), 17,854 (2020); African Americans are 10% of the city population

Other races – 10,231 (2010), 13,579 (2020); residents who identify with other races are 7% of the city population

American Indian and Alaska Native – 965 (2010), 1,404 (2020); American Indians or Alaska Natives are 0.6% of the city population

Source: 2020 Census data provided by the city of Elk Grove