Long Island was stung in late 2019 when Newsday reported that real estate agents routinely engaged in racial steering, but Nassau and Suffolk Counties on the whole became more diverse in the past decade, new census figures show.
Minorities now constitute 40.2 percent of Long Island’s population, up from 31.3 percent in 2010. The minority population increased by 288,065 over the decade, while the white population declined by 199,253, according to Newsday.
The diversification was led by Hispanics, who added 147,790 residents. That easily outpaced Asians (76,331 added) and Blacks (11,062). Residents who identify by either a different or multiple races grew by more than 50,000.
Hispanic residents make up 20.2 percent of Long Island’s population, up from 16 percent a decade ago, meaning their share of the populace has grown by more than a quarter.
In total, the population of Long Island increased by 3.1 percent from 2010 to 2020, to more than 2.9 million residents.
The demographic shifts varied across Nassau and Suffolk counties. Hempstead, for example, saw its Black population drop and its Hispanic population surge.
Newsday gathered explosive evidence over a three-year investigation that showed agents steering buyers to particular neighborhoods based on race and informing Black buyers but not white ones that they needed pre-approved mortgages.
Brokers appearing before Congress last year strongly refuted allegations of violating fair housing laws.
[Newsday] — Holden Walter-Warner