Contrary to perception in some parts, Hispanics were not the fastest-growing race or ethnic group in the US last year, according to recent data from the US Census Bureau. Instead that distinction belonged to Asian-Americans, whose population grew by 2.9% year-over-year to reach 18.9 million. Hispanics remained easily the largest non-white race or ethnic group in the US, growing by 2.2% to total just over 53 million, or about 17% of the total population.
Interestingly, Asians and Hispanics have very different population growth drivers. While more than 60% of the Asian population’s growth came from international migration, 76% of the Hispanic population growth was the result of natural increase (births minus deaths). As noted by the Census Bureau last year, Hispanics are the youngest of the major races and ethnicities, with 40% under the age of 21 in 2011.
Other race or ethnic groups also grew in 2012:
- The black or African-American population grew by 1.3% to 44.5 million;
- The number of American Indians and Alaska Natives increased by 1.5% to slightly more than 6.3 million; and
- The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders population grew by 2.2% to roughly 1.4 million.
As a result of those figures, the US’ minority population climbed by 1.9% to reach 116 million people, accounting for 37% of the total population. A harbinger of the increasing multicultural nature of the US: 49.9% of children younger than 5 were minorities last year.
- California housed the most Hispanics of any state as of July 1, 2012, at 14.5 million. It also had the largest Asian population, at 6 million.
- New York had the largest black or African-American population, at 3.7 million.
- 5 states or equivalent were majority-minority last year: Hawaii (77.2% minority); DC (64.5%); California (60.6%); New Mexico (60.2%); and Texas (55.5%).