News Column

Hispanic, Asian Populations Continue to Grow

June 12, 2013

Staff Reports --

hispanic population

Hispanics remain the largest minority, while Asians are the fastest-growing race or ethnic group in the country, the Census Bureau reported.

The U.S. Hispanic population rose by 2.2 percent to 53 million in 2012, as Hispanics continue to be the largest minority in the country, according to Census Bureau figures released on Thursday.

Asians are the fastest-growing race or ethnic group in the U.S. and increased by 2.9 percent last year, the Census Bureau reported. The population increase was due primarily to immigration. By contrast, the Hispanic population rose 2.2 percent, more than three-quarters of it by birth.

"Asians and Hispanics have long been among our nation's fastest-growing race or ethnic groups," Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's acting director, said in a statement.

Hispanics remain the second-largest race or ethnic group, with a population of 53 million in 2012, for about 17 percent of the population. Non-Hispanic whites remain the largest group.

The country's total minority population increased by 1.9 percent and stood at 116 million, or 37 percent, of the population overall as of July 2012.

Older nation, more kids

Almost half of all children under the age of 5 are minorities, a shift that has been trending upward since the 2010 census.

"(If) this proportional growth continues, we expect that the crossover to majority-minority for this group will occur within the next couple of years," Mesenbourg said.

On the other hand, the country was slightly older in 2012. The median age rose to 37.5 years, compared to 37.3 in 2011. North Dakota, Hawaii, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Kansas and Oklahoma saw a drop in median age.

Maine had the highest median age (43.5), while Utah had the lowest (30).

Population by state

California's Hispanic population was the largest of any state, and Los Angeles County had the largest Hispanic population of any county. That's not unexpected as California is the most populous state and Los Angeles is the country's second-largest metropolitan area. Los Angeles County had a Hispanic population of 4.8 million.

California had 14.5 million Hispanics and showed the largest numeric increase in the Hispanic population. However, New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanics, at 47 percent. Starr County in Texas had the greatest percentage of Hispanics by county at 95.6 percent.

California has the largest Asian population (6 million), and also showed the largest numeric increase of Asians. Hawaii is the only state with an Asian majority, at 56.9 percent.

California still has the largest non-Hispanic white population, at 15 million. Maine has the largest white majority, at 94.1 percent.

Most men, most women

For those wondering where to go to increase their romantic chances, the Census Bureau also has broken out the population by sex.

Males were a majority in 10 states, led by Alaska at 52.1 percent and Wyoming at 51.1 percent. Hawaii made the male-majority category as well, though barely, at 50.4 percent.

The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of females, at 52.3 percent. Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts also enjoyed a female majority.

The figures are part of a set of annual population estimates by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex. They examine population changes nationally as well as by state and county, between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012.

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