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Not since Rod Mullice opened his real estate development firm, Windsor Stevens Holdings in 2013, did he have a better year than 2020, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

During the pandemic, he saw the occupancy and rental rates increase on two of his flagship properties and is close to breaking ground on two more apartment complexes on the Beltline and in downtown Chamblee.

“I had a great year,” said Mullice, the managing partner of Windsor Stevens Holdings. “And we have been able to attract interest from institutional-quality investors, including pension funds, from California, Illinois and New York who are interested in investing with diverse developers in urban cores.”

Mullice is a small part of Georgia’s larger claim as an economic powerhouse among racial and ethnic minorities — particularly Black residents, but also to a lesser degree Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans.

Georgia’s Black buying power, defined as total income after taxes, was $118 billion in 2020, according to the 2021 Multicultural Economy report released last week by the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth.

That figure trailed only Texas ($149 billion) and New York ($141 billion), and was tied with California. It grew from $67 billion in 2010.

But it was only part of a greater story about diversity in spending amid major demographic shifts, even as wealth and income disparities persist.

Statewide, the number of Black Georgians increased by 13 percent over the past decade, while the White population dropped by 1 percent, according to 2020 U.S. Census data released Thursday. Meanwhile, Georgia’s Asian population jumped by 53 percent and its Hispanic population rose by 32 percent. The state narrowly remained majority White at just more than 50 percent.

According to the UGA report, the combined U.S. buying power of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans has gone from $458 billion in 1990 to $3 trillion in 2020. That figure is expected to reach $4 trillion in 2025, representing nearly 20 percent of the nation’s total buying power.

In Georgia, over the last 10 years, Black buying power increased 78 percent. That was the 19th-biggest increase among states, compared with 61 percent nationally.