Deeply diverse Gwinnett still has its racial tensions

Meadowcreek High School students during a HOPE (Hispanic Organization Promoting Education) program. (AJC file, 2015, Hyosub Shin)

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Meadowcreek High School students during a HOPE (Hispanic Organization Promoting Education) program. (AJC file, 2015, Hyosub Shin)

The racial evolution of Gwinnett County is an extraordinary story. Gwinnett was almost 90 percent white in 1990. Ten years ago the county “tipped” to majority minority. Ten years later, Gwinnett is 39 percent white. And in another 10 years, that percentage will decline to 29, according to one projection.

By 2050? White people will account for just 14 percent of Gwinnett’s population.

» How do you experience race in Atlanta?

This is according to data from Woods & Poole Economics Inc., a Washington D.C., firm that specializes in economic and demographic data on counties. The AJC compiled this information as part of its new RE: Race coverage, which launches officially on Thursday. An interactive graphic will enable you to track actual or projected demographic breakdowns of every Georgia county from 1990 through 2050.

As diverse as it has become, Gwinnett still has racial tensions. Tommy Hunter, a member of the all-white county commission, caused a nationwide stir when he called U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig” in January.

At the time, Hunter’s campaign consultant, Seth Weathers, said, “If a Democrat screams racist it’s a fact. But if a Republican accuses someone of doing something racist, everyone screams that the Republican is racist.”

Nevertheless, Gwinnett remains one of the most diverse counties in the Southeast and is becoming more so.

Read the inaugural story – about the demographic evolution of Cobb County – of our RE: Race project (it will post on Thursday), and tell us how you have experienced race and ethnicity.

You are encouraged to comment on any aspect of the AJC’s race and ethnicity coverage. Commenting is moderated by AJC editors.

The RE: Race team

Ernie Suggs

AJC news reporter

Bo Emerson

AJC features and news reporter

Rosalind Bentley

AJC news reporter

Willoughby Mariano

AJC investigative reporter

Helena Oliviero

AJC features reporter

John Perry

AJC data specialist

Erica A. Hernandez

AJC multimedia journalist

Pete Corson

AJC audience specialist

María Alejandra Bastidas

Editor of MundoHispánico

Marcelo Wheelock

Senior editor of MundoHispánico

Richard Halicks

AJC senior editor

Leroy Chapman

AJC deputy managing editor