WASHINGTON, May 10, 2006 (AFP) – Hispanics and Asians are the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, where one in three people now belong to a minority group, the US Census Bureau said Wednesday.
In 2005, the minority population totalled 98 million, or 33 percent of the 296.4 million US population, the agency said.
“These mid-decade numbers provide further evidence of the increasing diversity of our nation’s population,” Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon said.
Hispanics — a cultural grouping whose members may belong to any race or combination of races — were the largest and fastest growing US-minority, numbering 42.7 million and with a 3.3 percent population rate increase in the year ending July 1, 2005.
Of the increase of 1.3 million, 500,000 were new immigrants, the bureau said.
Blacks formed the second largest minority group at 39.7 million and had a population rate increase of 1.3 percent.
The Asian population of 14.4 million grew by three percent. More than half of this group’s increase — 239,000 of a total 421,000 — was due to immigration.
The other minority groups surveyed by the Census Bureau were American Indians and Alaska natives, (4.5 m