Idaho's Hispanic population increased 2.1 percent between mid-2011 and
mid-2012, the slowest growth rate since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking
Hispanic population in 1981, the Idaho Department of Labor reported Thursday.
In Canyon County, the 2012 Hispanic population of 47,024 represents 24.3 percent of the overall population and a 1.9 percent increase from 2011.
In Ada County, 30,396 Hispanic residents make up 7.4 percent of the 2012 population, an increase of 3.7 percent from the previous year.
Estimates released by the Census Bureau on Thursday put Idaho's Hispanic population at 185,160, up just over 3,800 from July 2011 to account for 11.6 percent of the state's overall population. Fifteen states had higher concentrations of Hispanics, led by New Mexico at 47 percent.
Nationally, the Hispanic population grew 2.2 percent to more than 53 million. That's 16.9 percent of the total U.S. population, which increased 0.7 percent between mid-2011 and mid-2012.
In Idaho, the Hispanic population grew by 2.1 percent for the same time period. Idaho's overall population increased by0.8 percent in the same period.
Previously, Idaho's lowest recorded Hispanic growth rate was in 1987 at 2.3 percent when the state's Hispanic population was 47,673.
The state's slowdown in Hispanic population growth, in part the result of fewer Hispanics moving to Idaho from elsewhere, also reflects a reduction in the number of Idaho Hispanics who are younger than 20.
In 2010, 45.5 percent of all Hispanics in Idaho were under 20 years old, but that proportion slipped by more than 1 percent, reaching 44.2 percent in 2012. Hispanics under age 45 accounted for 83.3 percent of the total population in 2010 compared to 2012, when the percentage fell to 82 percent.
Idaho's overall population also saw a contraction in those age groups, but at less than a percentage point -- from 30.3 percent in 2010 to 29.5 percent in 2011 for people under age 20, and from 62.8 percent in 2010 to 61.9 percent in 2010 for people under age 45, the Idaho Department of Labor reports.
Clark County, Idaho's smallest in population, continued to have the highest concentration of Hispanics at 40.7 percent and is one of 11 counties where the Hispanic population declined. Bonner County in the Panhandle had the smallest concentration of Hispanics at 2.4 percent.
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