Census Data Show Signs of a Hispanic Boom

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The U.S. Census Bureau is gradually releasing demographic data from its 2010 survey, and the first batch of state-level specifics show Hispanic populations rising sharply.

Hispanic populations have grown, both by percentage of states' total populations and by raw numbers, in each of the eight states for which Hispanic-origin data have been released. In some cases, Hispanic populations nearly doubled.

  • Arkansas: 6.4 percent (186,050), up from 3.2 percent (2,586,534) in 2000
  • Indiana: 6 percent (389,707), up from 3.5 percent (214,536) in 2000
  • Iowa: 5 percent (151,544), up from 2.8 percent (82,473) in 2000
  • Louisiana: 4.2 percent (192,560), up from 2.4 percent (77,083) in 2000
  • Maryland: 8.2 percent (470,632), up from 4.3 percent (227,916) in 2000
  • Mississippi: 2.7 percent (81,481), up from 1.4 percent (39,569) in 2000
  • New Jersey: 17.7 percent (1,555,144), up from 13.3 percent (1,117,191) in 2000
  • Vermont: 1.5 percent (9,208), up from .9 percent (5,504) in 2000

The Census Bureau will release the rest of its state-level demographic data over the next month and a half, after which it will be used for redistricting as new congressional and state-legislative district lines are drawn. Texas will be included in the next batch.

Based on data from the 2000 Census, the bureau projected in 2004 that the national Hispanic population would grow from 12.6 percent of the total U.S. population in 2000, to 15.5 percent in 2010, to 17.8 percent in 2020, to 20.1 percent in 2030, to 22.3 percent in 2040, to 24.4 percent in 2050. The bureau will release its new long-term projections in 2012.

Why is this significant, politically?

The growing Hispanic population, in some ways could be the political story of the next fifty years. Hispanics have voted overwhelmingly Democratic in recent elections, siding 67 percent with President Obama in 2008 according to CNN exit polls. When the Hispanic population of a state doubles, Democrats can expect an advantage there--unless politics change and allegiances shift.

All data taken from the latest Census updates indexed here.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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