Saturday, March 2, 2024

US Census Bureau says Hispanic Population now over 50 Million

Hispanics are now officially the largest minority group in the country numbering over 50 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.

That number translates to 16.3% of the nation’s population and means that 1 out of every 6 Americans is a Latino.

Interesting trends have also emerged; revealing the country’s low overall growth rate.  Robert M. Groves, director of the Census Bureau, and Marc J. Perry, chief of the population distribution branch highlight that most of the growth is concentrated in metropolitan areas and in the American West and South.

“The fastest-growing communities are suburbs such as Lincoln, California, outside Sacramento. And standard-bearer cities such as Boston, Baltimore and Milwaukee are no longer in the top 20 for population, replaced by upstarts such as El Paso, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina,” the officials said.

All other population groups combined only grew by about 5% with the nation as a whole grew by 9.7%

However, of these trends, the most noteworthy was the country’s new count of 50.5 million Latinos, accounting for more than half of the of the nation’s overall growth of 27.3 million people, to a new overall U.S. population of 308.7 million.

Mark Lopez of the Pew Hispanic Center also notes that this growth in Hispanic population has been taking place all over the country and is not only occurring metropolitan areas as with previous census numbers.

“It’s actually a story of Hispanic population growth in all parts of the country, whether we’re talking about states like California and Texas, or even states such as Georgia or Alabama or Tennessee, particularly in the Southeast. We saw Hispanic populations in those areas double in states like Tennessee and Arkansas and North Carolina over the last decade.”

Birth rate, opposed to immigration, is the major reason behind this sharp rise is Hispanics, according to D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer at the Pew Research Center.

“Hispanics now account for nearly one-quarter of children under the age of 18,” Cohn said.

Also noteworthy is though immigration remains an important factor, recession and high unemployment may have contributed to the decrease in the rate of foreign-born nationals seeking U.S. residence, analysts said.

Though Latinos have now become a voting bloc to be reckoned with, this may not necessarily mean immigration reform will move in Congress.

Jennifer Allen, executive director of the human rights organization Border Action Network expressed, “We hope these census numbers signal a new era of racial politics in our states, rooted not only in strong economies but also equalities for all people.”

Several states across the country have tried to pass measures similar to Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB1070, but not with much success, Allen asserted.

The census numbers may reduce additional anti-immigration legislation in Arizona because these new numbers “demonstrates the growing importance of Latino voters throughout the state,” Allen said.

As the census figures are used for congressional redistricting in states, Latino voters should not be “written off and treated as disposable constituents,” she added.




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