City begins to parse census data
In the past decade Mountain View's population has grown by 3,358 — roughly 4.5 percent — according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week.
The numbers, made public on March 8, show that 74,066 people live in Mountain View, up from 70,708 in the 2000 census.
"We have grown but it's been a moderate growth," said Kevin Duggan, Mountain View's city manager. "We think it's reflective of that."
Duggan noted that California had estimated Mountain View might be at 75,000 by now. The city missed that mark by 934.
Since 2000 Mountain View's minority population has grown while the number of whites living in the city has decreased.
In 2000 the census counted 45,090 whites living in the city, a number that dropped to 41,468 in 2010.
Over the same period, the city's Asian population grew from 14,613 to 19,232, and the total number of Hispanic and Latino residents increased from 12,911 to 16,071.
Asians now account for 26 percent of the Mountain View population, Hispanics and Latinos account for 21.7 percent, and whites make up 56 percent.
The number of black and African American residents of Mountain View dropped from 1,789 in 2000 to 1,629 in 2010.
The growth in Mountain View's non-white population, accompanied by the falling number of whites living in the city, appeared to Vice Mayor Mike Kasperzak to be "entirely consistent with California demographics."
Kasperzak did not see the shrinking white population as a deliberate movement. He speculated that it was just a matter of certain residents moving out of Mountain View and being replaced by Hispanics, Latinos and Asians who are moving to the area in larger numbers seeking jobs.
"We continue to be a diverse community with a lot of different races and ethnicities represented," Duggan said. "Folks come from all over the world to live in this area."
Matching the city's "moderate growth," 1,449 new housing units were built in Mountain View over the past 10 years. And while the number of homes in the city grew, so did the number of vacant living spaces.
In 2000 there were 1,190 vacant living units in the city. That number grew by 61 percent, reaching 1,924 when census data was collected last spring.
"I think there could be any number of factors for that," Kasperzak said, noting that the recession has likely played a role. He pointed out that those numbers may have improved since the time the census was taken, though he couldn't be sure. "I think the economy has picked up, I think hiring has picked up in the valley since almost a year ago."
Duggan said that the city is only beginning to parse the census data. In the weeks and months to come, as more data becomes available and the city has more time to interpret the numbers, Duggan said, the city will be able to "better understand the composition of our community and do a better job in meeting community needs."