New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 11, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 10A — Herald-Zeitung — Friday, May ll, 2001Rise in Mexican-Americans fuels Hispanic growth
* - By GENARO C. ARMAS
Associated Press Writer
•WASHINGTON (AP) — Tile Mexican-American population jumped during the l&90s, a key reason for the dramatic growth among the country’s Hispanics in the past decade, new Census 2000 data shows. While their numbers were greatest in Texas and California, states in the Midwest and Southeast, also saw huge gains.
More than 20.6 million people identified themselves as Mexican in the 2000 head count, a 53 percent increase from 1990. The next two biggest Hispanic groups, Puerto Ricans and Cubans, also grew, though to a lesser extent.
The report released Thursday offered the first new details of the country’s Hispanic population, which at 35.3 million strong, rivaled noQ-Hispanic blacks as the nation’s largest minority giirup. Non-Hispanic blacks totaled about 35.4 minion.
Most Latino advocacy gifiups were not surprised by th[e trends; there have long bqen high rates of immigration into America from Mexico, and Mexicans tend to have higher birth rates.
Instead, the focus should be on strengthening bonds between different groups in the Hispanic community — whether from Mexico, Paraguay or El Salvador — to increase awareness of issues affecting them all, said Afigelo Amador, policy analyst with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
‘He highlighted bilingual education and racial profiling as examples of common issues. When looking at the numbers, “it again reinforces the idea that we really need to be united to have more strength,” Amador said. ^Hispanics also tended to be
Hispanics in the heartland, West
At 35.3 million, the Hispanic population is approaching non-Hispanic blacks as the nation’s largest minority group. There were 13 million more Hispanics in 2000 than 1990, with many newcomers moving past traditional immigrant gateways in Texas, California and Florida to settle in the Midwest.
By The Associated Press
A breakdown of the
nation’s Hispanic popula
Number who identified
Other Central American
Other South American
All other Hispanic or Latino
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Spanish for the first time. Democrats also gave a bilingual radio response.
Among Mexicans, growth rates surged in places that have not traditionally drawn immigrants as people flocked to small towns and cities for jobs at manufacturing and meatpacking plants. The
Mexican population in North Carolina, for instance, rose 655 percent.
Still, some of the largest Mexican populations lived in urban counties, including Los Angeles County, Calif., with 3 million, and Harris County, Texas, with 815,000.
On the Net: http://www.census.gov
Percent Hispanic, by county
Less than 6% 6% to 12.4% 12.5% to 24.9% 25% to 49.9% 50% or more
SOURCES: ESR!; U.S. Census Bureau
younger: the median age for Hispanics was 25.9 years, while the median age for the entire U.S. population was 35.3. Mexicans had a median age of 24.2, and Puerto Ricans a median age of 27.3.
The report did not address how much of the Hispanic population increase resulted from illegal immigration — a question census and immigration officials said could be better answered when additional figures are released later this year.
Among the findings:
—There were nearly 13 million more Hispanics in the country in 2000 than 1990, of which more than half were Mexican.
—Puerto Ricans were the next biggest Hispanic group, increasing 25 percent to 3.4 million. New York had the largest Puerto Rican population, at 1.1 million, but was also the only state to see a decline among that group (down 3 percent).
—The Cuban population, the third largest group, was up 19 percent, with the high-
est growth in the South and West. More than half the country’s 1.2 million Cubans lived in Miami-Dade County, Fla. The median age for Cubans was 40.7.
Political leaders in Washington have begun to notice. This past week, President Bush gave his weekly radio address in both English and
ftp IO States for Hispanic Populations
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! By The Associated Press
T6p 10 states for Mexican, Plierto Rican and Cuban populations:
BY TOTAL POPULATION: MEXICAN:
New Mexico 330,049
Total U.S. 20,640,711
BY PERCENTAGE GROWTH: MEXICAN:
North Carolina 655
South Carolina 379
New Jersey 258
Total U.S. 53
North Carolina 113
Total U.S. 25
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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