Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hawaiian and Pacific
groups flocking to Vegas

LAS VEGAS » Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders moved to the Las Vegas area in higher numbers from 2003 to 2004 than to any other county in the nation, according to the U.S. Census.

Clark County gained 1,098 of that group, with 17,527 people -- about 1 percent -- identifying themselves as full or partly Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

Nevada's overall population has topped 2.3 million and is becoming more diverse, according to U.S. Census estimates released this month.

The census found minorities made up 39 percent of the state's population, with about 23 percent of people identifying themselves as Hispanic.

The trend is transforming Nevada into a "majority-minority" state like Hawaii, California, New Mexico and Texas, in which more than 50 percent of the population is made up of nonwhites and Hispanics. The bureau defines minorities as all people except non-Hispanic, single-race whites.

Clark County, including Las Vegas, had more than 1.6 million people, or 71 percent of the state's population, as of July 2004, according to the Census projections. Minorities made up about 44 percent of the county population.

Hispanics topped 25 percent of Clark County residents for the first time, according to the data. Blacks accounted for about 10 percent of the county population; Asians, 6 percent.

Jeff Hardcastle, Nevada state demographer, projected that the state will have 3.4 million residents by 2020, with almost 2.6 million living in Clark County.

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