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U.S. Hispanic Population Grew 40 Percent Last Decade

August 31, 2000
Copyright © 2000 EFE. All Rights Reserved.

The U.S. Hispanic population grew more than 40 percent between 1990 and 1999, while the total population rose 9.6 percent in the same period, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Wednesday.

In April 1990, of the 248.79 million people in the United States, 22.37 million were Hispanics, or 9 percent of the total population.

In July 1999, the Census Bureau calculated a total population of 272.69 million people, of which 31.33 million were Hispanic, some 12.2 percent.

The growth of the Hispanic population in the United States is primarily due to the growth of immigration, which is responsible for the influx of some 7.5 million people between 1990 and 1995.

As a result of this steady growth, Hispanics are on the verge of surpassing African-Americans as the largest minority group in the United States.

In April 1990, the 30.52 million blacks in the country accounted for 12.3 percent of the total U.S. population, and in July 1999, the black population rose to 34.86 million people, or 12.8 percent of the total population, a 4.27 percent increase.

Between 1990 and 1999, the total U.S. population rose by 23.89 million people, 19.32 million of which lived in southern or western states, where the majority of the country's Hispanic population lives.

In July 1999, nearly one of every three Hispanics in the United States lived in California, where Hispanics account for almost a third of the population.

A report carried out by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, located in Claremont, California, noted that "the tremendous growth and the changes in the Hispanic vote in the southern portion of the state will have a significant influence on the outcome of the November 2000 presidential elections."

"The Latino vote is changing in two important ways. First, data indicates that during the November 1998 elections, the Hispanic vote in Los Angeles County increased 48.7 percent since 1994," the report added.

"This growth is five times greater than that of the non-Hispanic voting population for the same period," the report read, adding that four times more Hispanics register as Democrats than as Republicans.

According to Census figures, in Arizona Hispanics account for 23 percent of the population, while in Florida they make up 16 percent, although in Miami-Dade County they account for 57 percent, most of which are of Cuban origin.

In New Jersey, Hispanics make up 13 percent of the population, while in New Mexico they account for 41 percent. In New York, Hispanics account for a little more than 14 percent.

Hispanics are becoming a growing force in the production of goods and services, said National Council of La Raza President Raul Yzaguirre.

"This makes it more important and urgent to educate them because they will affect our economic security, our living standards and the ability of our society to support retirees," he said.

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