Hawaii’s ethnic diversity still tops
The U.S. Census says minorities are about 75 percent of the state population
Hawaii remains the state with the highest ethnic minority population in the nation, according to an annual U.S. Census Bureau estimate.
Ethnic minorities account for 75 percent of Hawaii's population. Asians make up 55 percent, the largest percentage in the nation. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are 21 percent of the state's population, according to the census.
Hawaii is one of four states and the District of Columbia with "majority-minority" populations. But that number is likely to grow until racial and ethnic "minorities" will make up the majority of the entire U.S. population in 2050, according to some population projections.
Since 2000, racial and ethnic minorities have become a majority of children under 15 in two of the nation's fastest-growing states, Florida and Nevada, with Georgia, Maryland and New York poised to follow, according to census data released yesterday.
Overall, Hispanics continued to grow faster than any other group, surpassing 15 percent of the nation's population last year for the first time, the Census Bureau said.
From 2006 to 2007, the Census Bureau said, the Hispanic population grew by 3.3 percent, compared with 2.9 percent for Asians, 1.3 percent for blacks and 0.3 percent for non-Hispanic whites.
But since the decade began, the number of Asians increased even faster than Hispanics in 14 states, generally those with large Hispanic populations, including Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
Racial and ethnic minorities now account for more than one in three Americans.
The latest estimates dramatize the breadth of the nation's growing diversity, even as nearly one-third of the people whom the census classifies as members of those minorities live in California and Texas. (Texas has overtaken California as the biggest gainer of Hispanic residents.)
From July 1, 2006, to July 1, 2007, the proportion of Americans 65 and older increased to 13 percent from 12 percent.
At the other end of the age spectrum, as a result of migration and immigration to places with more plentiful employment and housing, the number of children up to 15 years old declined in 31 states since 2000 -- led by New York, which lost 326,000. Their ranks shrank by more than 10 percent in Louisiana, North Dakota and Vermont.
In Arizona and Nevada the influx and birth of Hispanics has helped increase the total number of children by more than 20 percent since the decade began. In the same period the share of white non-Hispanic children in Nevada declined to 44 percent, from nearly 54 percent, the most of any state.
The growth of both Hispanics and Asian Americans was fueled by immigration and higher fertility. While about 15 percent more births than deaths were recorded among whites since 2000, more than eight times as many Hispanics, four times as many Asians and twice as many blacks were born than died.
The New York Times and Star-Bulletin reporter Craig Gima contributed to this report.