Whites made up the largest ethnic group in the San Fernando Valley in 2000 at 44% of the population, but the group was overtaken by Latinos in 2008, according to the report.
A total of 42.4% of San Fernando Valley residents, or 745,205 people, are Latino, edging out whites, who make up 41.8% of the population.
Asians are the next largest ethnic category, at 10%, followed by blacks, at 3.6%, according to the report.
“This image from the 1970s that the valley is some sort of white area of privilege is exploded by this data,” said Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), who has requested the region-specific report from the Census Bureau since 2006. “We’re very much like the city of Los Angeles and a truly diverse area.”
The valley’s population grew by 3.5% since 2000, but over that period has seen a 16.6% jump in residents with college degrees, according to the data.
Those figures show that the region has grown more knowledgeable and skilled as it has diversified, Ackerman said.
“The vast majority of these people are highly educated, and they’re coming here with business experience,” he said.
Valley residents also spend more time on the road than Californians overall, according to the data.
While median household income grew 10% between 2000 and 2008, more than half of the valley’s homeowners spend more than 35% of their incomes on housing, according to the report.
Regional unemployment was at 4.2% in 2008, but that figure, along with others related to median home values and poverty, are likely to change in the 2010 Census. Unemployment in Glendale alone was measured at 10.6% in November.
In the near term, Ackerman said he hoped that the start of the decennial count this spring would help lower unemployment in the region through the hiring of local Census workers. “I’ve got a lot of people looking for work now, and the Census is hiring,” he said.