Note: When a statistic is quoted for a single year, that estimate can either represent a point-in-time estimate (e.g. April 1st, 2010) or an annual average estimate (i.e. an average over 12 months). When a statistic is quoted over multiple years (e.g. 2013 to 2017, between 2013 and 2017) that is an estimate averaged over 5 years (aka an average over 60 months). While comparing statistics from single years may be reliable with few cautions, comparing statistics over a single year (e.g. 2017) with statistics over multiple years (e.g. 2013 to 2017, between 2013 and 2017) should be avoided.
The U.S. Census Bureau maintains a record of population estimates for the geographies at several levels of government which includes the nation, the State of California, the County of San Bernardino, and cities within the county. The following section draws estimates from the Bureau to highlight the community's basic demographic characteristics.
The population of San Bernardino County has grown quite a bit since its first recorded population in 1860 CE at 5,551 people. The latest Decennial Census in 2010 estimates the population at 2,035,210. In 2017, the population in San Bernardino County was 2,157,404, which was a growth of approximately 122,000 people over six years from 2,035,210 people in 2010. According to the California Department of Finance Population Projections, San Bernardino County may grow to approximately 3.2 million people by 2060.
In Demographic reports, race and ethnicity are usually grouped into categories. Italian, German, Middle Eastern, or British are typically grouped into White/Caucasian; African American, South African, Ethiopian, or Jamaican are typically grouped into Black. Asian American, Chinese, Indian, Hmong, Korean, or Filipino are typically grouped into Asian/Pacific Islander. Whether they consider themselves white or black, anyone who also identifies as Hispanic or Latino, Mexican, Cuban, or South/Central American are grouped into Hispanic/Latino under current practices. This report will define five categories: Hispanic/Latino, White (aka Non-Hispanic White), Black (aka Non-Hispanic Black), Asian/PI (aka Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander), and Other (aka Non-Hispanic Other).
Between 2013 and 2017, San Bernardino County's largest-represented group was the Hispanic/Latino population at 52.3%. Following that was the White population at 29.8%, the Black population at 8.0%, and the Asian population at 6.7%. As shown below, this racial/ethnic distribution at the county level differs greatly than the distribution at the state or national level.
Over time the county's population has been gradually changing in terms of race/ethnicity distribution. Starting in 1980, when the U.S. Census Bureau first captured Hispanic or Latino as an ethnicity, San Bernardino County was largely White (73.2%); following that was the Hispanic/Latino population (18.5%). By 2000, neither the non-Hispanic White nor the Hispanic/Latino population were the majority in the county (44.0% and 39.2% respectively). In 2012, the Hispanic/Latino population (50.5%) was the majority group within the county. The most recent population estimate for 2017 shows that the Hispanic/Latino population (53.4%) is continuing to become more represented within the county.
The Demographic Research Unit of California also expects the Hispanic/Latino population (as well as its share of the population) to increase within the county. As shown below, by 2060 the Hispanic/Latino population is projected to make up 66.2% of the county's population.
Knowing the language preferences and the familiarity with the English language of the San Bernardino community is important for the county to be aware of. It can help to anticipate demands for writing reports and documents in the Spanish or Chinese languages. The U.S. Census Bureau captures two different components of language in their surveys. "Language Spoken at Home" asks a respondent 5 years and over what language they use in the comfort of their own home. This may also suggest what preferences the people of San Bernardino County have. "Ability to Speak English" asks a respondent to self-assess how well they speak the English language ranging from Very Well, Well, Not Well, to Not at all.
Although English is the primary language spoken in Nation, the State of California, and San Bernardino County, there are other languages in which county residents speak at home. In 2016, 34.5% of the population 5 years and over in San Bernardino County spoke Spanish at home, 5.2% spoke an Asian or Pacific Island language, and 58.0% spoke exclusively English. In the majority of cases, people who speak a non-English language at home are able to speak English "very well" (63.5%). This varies among primary Spanish speakers (64.8%) and primary Asian/Pacific Island language speakers (54.8%).
Language Spoken at Home has also changed over time in San Bernardino County. Since 1990, English being the primary language spoken in the home among the population 5 years and over has declined from 76.6% to in 1990 to 59.1% in 2017. One of the major reasons for this decline, was the growth of Spanish spoken in homes which grew from 17.8% in 1990 to 33.9% in 2017. Asian and Pacific Island languages have also grown in San Bernardino County starting from 2.8% of the population 5 years and over in 1990 to 4.7% in 2016.
Some households are entirely without an individual who is at least 14 years of age or older that can speak English 'very well'. People in these linguistically-isolated households, or more currently known as limited-English speaking households, are identified as a socioeconomic risk factor according to CalEnviroScreen 3.0. This population may be less likely to be able to gain access to social services or medical care. In addition, they may have more difficulty receiving information in an emergency situation.
Overall, a higher proportion of population 5 years and over were in limited-English speaking households throughout the state than throughout San Bernardino County. Throughout the Nation, the State of California, and San Bernardino County, the percentage of people 5 years and over in limited-English households was on the rise from 1990 and peaked in 2005; Afterwards, the percentage in limited-English households has gradually declined.
San Bernardino County's population has had an influx of persons from abroad in the past few decades. In 1970, 94.4% of the population were natural-born citizens. Following that, 1980 saw a small decline in the natural-born citizen population to 92.3%. By 1990, the natural-born citizen population started to decline noticeably down to 86.8%. In 2000, the natural-born citizen population declined to 81.4% of the population. According to the latest estimates for 2017, the natural-born citizen population was 78.4% of the county's population.
This section focuses on the age distribution of the population in specific areas, broken down by sex, and race/ethnicity. The first piece includes the population broken down by age ranges and sliced by sex, typically known as a population pyramid chart. The following maps show the median age of the population within a neighborhood.
Overall, the median age among the total population of San Bernardino County in 2017 was 33.4 years. Similarly, among males it was 32.4 years and among females it was 34.5 years. Approximately 26.5% of the population was under 18 years, 62.3% was between 18 and 64 years, and 11.3% of the population was 65 years and over.
The median age among the Non-Hispanic White population of San Bernardino County in 2017 was 45.1 years (43.0 among men and 47.0 among women). Approximately 17.7% of the Non-Hispanic White population was under 18 years, 62.5% was between 18 and 64 years, and 19.8% of the Non-Hispanic White population was 65 years and over.
The median age among the Hispanic/Latino population of San Bernardino County in 2017 was 28.3 years (27.7 among men and 28.9 among women). Approximately 31.7% of the Hispanic/Latino population was under 18 years, 62.5% was between 18 and 64 years, and 6.6% of the Hispanic/Latino population was 65 years and over.
It is important to consider how a household's composition is defined. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, "A family consists of a householder and one or more other people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption." (pg. 79). Conversely, a non-family household includes "A householder living alone or with nonrelatives only. Unmarried couples households, whether opposite-sex or same-sex, with no relatives of the householder present are tabulated in nonfamily households." (pg. 80). In this report, however, unmarried couple households will be grouped into what are known as cohabiting households since they can include households with two parents.
Overall, the average household size between 2013 and 2017 in San Bernardino County (3.31 persons per household) was larger than the state of California (2.96 persons per household) and the Nation (2.63 persons per household). Family households held a larger number of individuals, on average. In San Bernardino County, between 2013 and 2017, the average family household size was 3.79 persons per household; this was larger than both the state of California (3.54 persons per family household) and the Nation (3.24 persons per family household).
Voting is an important activity of community engagement. Within the State of California and the County of San Bernardino, not all who are eligible to vote are registered. As shown below, there is no apparent trend upwards or downwards over time. As of April 6th, 2018, 67.6% of eligible voters within San Bernardino County were registered to vote.