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New Census Milestone: Hispanics Reach 50 Million

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Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade. (credit: ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade. (credit: ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (AP) – In a surprising show of growth, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade, exceeding estimates in many states as they crossed a new census milestone: 50 million, or 1 in 6 Americans.

Meanwhile, more than 9 million Americans checked more than one race category on their 2010 census form, up 32 percent from 2000, a sign of burgeoning multiracial growth in an increasingly minority nation.

The Census Bureau on Thursday was releasing its first set of national-level findings from the 2010 count on race and migration, detailing a decade in which rapid minority growth, aging whites and the housing boom and bust were the predominant story lines.

The final count: 196.8 million whites, 37.7 million blacks, 50.5 million Hispanics and 14.5 million Asians.

Hispanics and Asians were the two fastest growing demographic groups, increasing about 42 percent from 2000.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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