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Manteca’s face becoming more diverse over time

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POSTED July 29, 2013 12:26 a.m.



The advent of irrigation water more than a century ago started the ball rolling toward the day — expected in the next 15 to 20 years — where Manteca’s dominate ethnic group will not be whites.

The University of Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business Forecasting Center anticipates the ethnic shift based on a study that examined census data and growth patterns.

As of 2013, 47 percent of Manteca’s population is described as white, 39 percent Hispanic or Latino, 7 percent Asian, 4 percent black, and the balance divided among other groups.

In terms of diversity Manteca lags Lathrop where the dominate ethnic group are Hispanics or Latinos at 43 percent. They are followed by whites at 24 percent, Asians at 21 percent, and blacks at 6 percent. Tracy has 37 percent of its population classified as Hispanic or Latino and 31 percent white with 14 percent Asian and 6 percent black.

Ripon, by comparison has 68 percent of its population classified as white, 22 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 4 percent as Asian and 2 percent as black.

Stockton has 40 percent of its population identified as Hispanic or Latino, 23 percent as white, 21 percent as Asian, and 11 percent as black.

The South San Joaquin Irrigation District’s harnessing of water back in 1914 to turn the sandy plains around Manteca into fertile farmland triggered immigration as agriculture created opportunity and jobs. The first wave saw immigrants from, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, The Netherlands, Japan, The Philippines, and Switzerland.

In 1916, a group of 60 Koreans arrived to work on sugar beet farms that supplied Speckles Sugar. Following them were Sikhs who formed the Punjab Cattle & Land Co, northeast of Manteca and Russia immigrants that settled on Castle Road in an area that eventually was known as the Russian Colony.

In June, the Department of Finance determined that statewide Hispanics and whites each comprised 39 percent of California’s population. Sometime in 2014 Hispanics will become the leading ethnic group for the first time in more than 167 years since prior to the Gold Rush

By 2060, projections call for Hispanics to comprise 48 percent of California’s population compared to 30 percent for whites.



To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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