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Hispanic population booms in United States


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The country's Hispanic population mushroomed by 58 percent from 1990 to 2000, making it the fastest growing minority group and underscoring "the changing diversity of the United States," the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday.

"The major finding is the nation is much more diverse in the year 2000 than it was in 1990, and that diversity is much more complex than we've ever measured before," said Jorge del Pinal, chief of Special Population Statistics.


The country's white, non-Hispanic population remained the largest single group with 195 million people, roughly 69 percent. But that population grew more slowly than other groups and claims a smaller share of the overall population than it did in 1990, when it accounted for 76 percent of the population, about 188 million people.

The country's minority population, which includes Hispanics, blacks, American Indians, Asians and others, grew by 43 percent between 1990 and 2000, reaching 87 million people, about 31 percent of the nation's population.

The Hispanic or Latino population, which can be of any race, grew from about 9 percent of the country's population in 1990 to 13 percent in 2000, with 35 million people who identified themselves as such. That represents a 58 percent increase in numbers.

People who identified themselves as black comprised 12 percent of the U.S. population in 2000.

The 2000 Census contained new categories and choices for respondents. It included 63 racial categories and allowed respondents to identify themselves by more than one race, in contrast with the past when only one selection was allowed.

Still, just 2.4 percent of the total U.S. population of 281 million people identified themselves as belonging to more than one race. For those people who reported only one race, 75.1 percent identified themselves as white; 12.3 percent, black or African American; 3.6 percent, Asian; 0.9 percent American Indian and Alaska native, 0.1 percent native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander, and 5.5 percent, some other race.

Of the 6.8 million people who checked off more than one race, 93 percent reported two races, with white and some other race being the biggest combination at 32 percent.

Nearly 48 percent of Hispanics, who count as an ethnic group, identified themselves as white and roughly 42 percent reported "some other race."

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Census Bureau

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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