Education

As the United States has become more diverse, universities in a state have followed suit

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The race and ethnicity data from the 2020 Census released last month revealed a demographic milestone that has been forming over the years: The proportion of white Americans fell below 60% for the first time in the history of the census.

Maryland is a typical example of this transition. It has the largest increase in the Census Bureau’s Diversity Index—an increase of 6.6 percentage points, which measures the probability that two randomly selected people come from different racial and ethnic groups. It is also one of the two states (the other is Nevada) where the population has become a non-white majority in the past ten years.

Considering the demographic background of the state, chronicle A closer look at the federal admissions data of the University of Maryland to understand that their student population reflects the degree of diversity that has changed the state since 2010. We followed 40 institutions—public and private, two-year and four-year programs, and at least 450 undergraduates—what we saw largely reflected the headlines about the new census data.

Undergraduate admissions data for individual institutions in 2010 and 2019 (the latest available) provides some interesting insights. For example, at McDaniel College, the proportion of black students has tripled since 2010 to 21%, and the proportion of white students has dropped from 81.8% to 57.2%. Morgan State University and Copperpin State University are historically black, and are the only two institutions in this group that have increased the proportion of white students—although there has been little increase, and both have a base of less than 2%. At the same time, the number of American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students at most universities in the state has been small, but has remained more or less the same.

Although the state’s flagship University of Maryland University Park has become more diverse in the past decade, the demographic composition of the student body lags behind that of the state’s traditional age students. For example, according to census data, in 2019, about one-third of young people aged 18-24 in Maryland were black, while the proportion of black students at the university in the same year was 11.5%.

Explore the transition between students at all 40 universities below:

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