Sunday’s editorial offers a warm welcome to all of the region’s new Hispanic residents who showed up in the 2010 census.
If you could have put all of Myrtle Beach’s residents inside the city’s convention center in 2000, you would have noticed that about four out of five seats were filled with white residents. If you did the same thing today, that number would be closer to two out of three. While the city’s population grew 19 percent in the last decade, to more than 27,000, the city’s white population grew at a fraction of that pace, rising only 2 percent.
So who made up the difference? The city’s black population grew 30 percent, but it was the Hispanic population that skyrocketed, more than tripling in 10 years, so that now nearly 1 in 7 of the residents of Myrtle Beach are Hispanic. It’s a remarkable change for the city, but one that is hardly surprising. The area’s warm climate and relaxed nature attracts new residents, and while the region has been struggling recently with unemployment, the city’s hospitality industry still provides many jobs for newcomers.