Demographics of Denver
The racial makeup of Denver is 88.4% White, 5.1% Black or African American, 2.6% American Indian, 3.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander. 31.8% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race, giving Denver one of the highest populations of Hispanics or Latinos in the U.S.
White American Denver
As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, 72.4% of Denver's population reported white ancestry. Non-Hispanic whites made up 50.5% of the city's population according to the survey, down from 51.9% of Denver's population in the 2000 Census.
Major ethnic groups of European ancestry in Denver include: Germans (14.7%), Irish (9.9%), British (11.3%), Italian (3.9%), French (2.8%), and Polish (2.1%). Of the 105,000 foreign-born in Denver, 8.3% were born in Europe.[dead link]
The Black American West and Denver
Many of the early inhabitants to settle the city were of African lineage, especially those who had escaped slavery. African-American mountain man Jim Beckwourth homesteaded land in what is now Denver in 1863. In honor of these frontiersmen, Paul Stewert erected the Black American West Museum in Denver.
The Five Points neighborhood is historically associated with African-American culture in Denver. In the 1940s through the 1950s, jazz clubs in Five Points provided popular venues for famous African American musicians.
Denver's first African-American mayor, Wellington Webb, served in that office from 1991 to 2003. The current Denver mayor, Michael Hancock, elected in 2011, is also African-American, as are city councilwoman Allegra "Happy" Haynes and Denver police chief Robert C. White. Former Denver First Lady and State Senator Wilma Webb led the successful movement to adopt Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a state holiday, long before it became a federal holiday.
Asian American Denver
Chinese first arrived in Denver in 1870, and settled in a neighborhood known as "Hop Alley" along Wazee Street ("Wazee" is said to be a Chinese name). Denver was the scene of a deadly anti-Chinese riot in 1880.
Denver has an active population of Japanese Americans. Sakura Square in downtown Denver was founded in 1944 by formerly-interned Japanese Americans migrating from the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California. The community hosts several public markets and restaurants.
In the city of Denver, the largest populations of Jews are found in the West Colfax and Hilltop neighborhoods.[not in citation given] The heritage of many generations of Jewish Denverites is very visible in the city, and its many landmarks (several prominent synagogues among them). Denver is also home to the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Famous Jews from or who lived in Denver include Golda Meir.
Hispanic and Latino Denver
Approximately one-third Denver's population consists of Hispanics or Latinos.
In 1983, Denver voters elected its first Hispanic mayor, Federico Peña, who served in that office until 1991.
Native Americans in Denver
The City of Denver has established the Denver American Indian Commission to promote better relations between Native Americans and the wider community. The annual Denver Pow-Wow in March is one of the largest in the country and hosts traditional Native American dances, attracting Native Americans from across the US and Canada, as well as many non-Indians.
- Tom Noel, "The many lives of a pioneer," Rocky Mountain News, 2 February 2010.
- Black American West Museum homepage
- BlackPast.org, Denver's Five Points
- Five Points Historic Association
- Gerald E. Rudolph, "The Chinese in Denver: their location and occupations," in Chinese on the American Frontier (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003) 315-321.
- Waymarking.com, Hop Alley/Chinese riot of 1880
- Overview of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Denver Sister Cities International
- Shalom Mile Chai Jewish Books and Judaica
- Denver American Indian Commission website
- Denver March Pow-wow website