“Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength. We embrace the future while respecting our past.”
- Bellevue City Council Vision
With over 39 percent of its population having been born in over 90 different foreign countries, Bellevue’s population is culturally diverse. About 50 percent of its population is of a minority race or ethnicity and 42 percent of its population over five speak a language other than English at home.
Asians comprise just over 34 percent of Bellevue’s population, making them Bellevue’s largest minority. The percentage of Asians in Bellevue is the tenth highest percentage for cities across the nation with 100,000 in population or more and it is the highest percentage in the nation of large cities outside of California and Hawaii.
Hispanics or Latinos are Bellevue’s second largest minority group comprising just under nine percent of Bellevue’s population. People of two or more races are the third largest minority comprising about four percent of the population and Blacks or African Americans comprise about two percent of Bellevue’s population.
Bellevue's Race and Ethnicity Distribution in 2015
Nationally, Hispanics or Latinos comprise the largest minority population followed by Blacks or African Americans and then Asians. In west coast states, Hispanics and Latinos also comprise the largest minority population. However, Asians are the second largest minority population followed by Blacks or African Americans.
In King County, Seattle and Bellevue, Asians comprise the second largest population after Whites, followed by Hispanics or Latinos. In King County and Seattle, Blacks or African Americans are the third largest minority population. However, in Bellevue people of two or more races are more populous than Blacks or African Americans. Bellevue also has larger percentages of Asians and Hispanics than Seattle and smaller percentages of people of two or more races and Blacks or African Americans.
Race/Ethnicity Comparisons, United States, Washington, King County, Bellevue and Seattle, 2015
People of all ages exist within each racial/ethnic group in Bellevue. However, age distributions vary. About 20 percent of Bellevue’s White residents are older adults versus five percent of Bellevue’s Hispanic residents and about 45 percent of Bellevue’s residents who are of two or more races are under the age of 18 compared to 13 percent of Bellevue’s White residents.
Trends and Projections
For the first time in 2015, a plurality of races/ethnicities existed in Bellevue as non-Hispanic whites no longer represented the majority of residents. The percentage of the population who are of a minority race or ethnicity in Bellevue has tripled over the past two and a half decades climbing from 15 percent in 1990 to over 50 percent in 2015. This trend mirrors national trends where the proportion of minorities has increased from 24 percent to 39 percent during the same period. It also brings Bellevue more in line with western region of the United States, which has had higher proportions of minorities over the decades.
Percent Minority Trends in the United States, the Western Region of the U.S. and Bellevue
The following two maps show increases in the percentages of minorities living within King County census tracts between 2000 and 2010, illustrating how dispersed this trend has been in the county, especially in the south and east.
Percent Minority in 2000 and 2010 by Census Tract
Bellevue’s Asian population has been the fastest growing minority group since 1990, growing from just under ten percent of the population to over 34 percent in 2015.
Within Bellevue’s Asian population, Chinese and Asian Indian residents have increased in number the most, with the number of Chinese residents growing from just over 2,600 in 1990 to over 18,200 in 2015. Asian Indians have witnessed similar rates of growth, especially since 2000. The number of Korean residents in Bellevue has also increased, but the rate of increase has not been as fast. Bellevue’s Japanese residents are the only Asian population that has not witnessed much growth over time. Their population has remained relatively steady since 1990 staying between two to three thousand.
Population Trends of Bellevue's Largest Asian Populations: 1990 to 2015
The proportion of Hispanics living in Bellevue along with people of two or more races has steadily increased over the decades. Hispanics comprised about three percent of Bellevue’s population in 1990 and by 2015 they comprised nearly nine percent. The proportion of people of two or more races has also increased, yet grown more slowly climbing from three percent in 2000 to five percent in 2015. The proportion of African Americans in Bellevue, in contrast, has remained steady over the decades at just over two percent.
Trends in the Percentage of Black or African Americans, Hispanics and People of Two or More Races in Bellevue: 1990 to 2015
Data on demographics come from the United States Census Bureau's decennial censuses and American Community Survey. While the decennial census happens only once every ten years, the American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides vital information on a yearly basis about the American people and workforce. It helps local officials, community leaders and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. See Bellevue's ACS Demographic and Housing data profile here.