For the first time, Bellevue’s population is evenly split between non-Hispanic whites and people of a minority race or ethnicity, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“It’s not the same Bellevue it was a few years ago,” Mayor John Stokes said.
“We really are a global city now.”
The Census Bureau released data in September from its 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), which shows that about 39 percent of Bellevue’s population were foreign-born, two-thirds of them from Asia. Over a third of Bellevue’s population was Asian as of last year.
Other estimates from the ACS include:
- About 86 percent of Bellevue’s foreign-born population speak a language other than English at home, compared to 13 percent of Bellevue’s native-born population.
- The foreign-born population has an average household size of 2.72 versus 2.46 for Bellevue’s native-born population; and
- Despite having larger households, Bellevue’s Asian population is more likely to live in multifamily housing – 59 percent versus 40 percent for the non-Hispanic white population.
“Cultural diversity broadens our possibilities for shared learning, strengthening Bellevue’s place as a hub of knowledge and innovation in all areas, including technology, arts, and business,” said City Manager Brad Miyake. “This ongoing growth of individuals from all backgrounds speaks to Bellevue’s desirability as a community people want to live and work in.”
Since 2000, Bellevue’s foreign-born population has accounted for about 93 percent of the city’s population growth. Other drivers of the growth include a thriving employment market and the city’s reputation for good schools, parks, and safe neighborhoods.