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Asians Are Fastest Growing Race or Ethnic Group, Census Reports

Asians became the fastest-growing race or ethnic group last year in the United States, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates, with a population increase of more than a half million people, or 2.9 percent, between July 2011 and July 2012.

The rate of Asian population growth outstripped that for the Hispanic population—which grew by more than 1.1 million people, or 2.2 percent—over the same one-year period.

What is particularly notable about the growth in the Asian population is that more than 60 percent of it came from migration from other countries. In 2012, there were 18.9 million Asians in the United States, according to the census estimates. Hispanics now number more than 53 million, or 17 percent of the population, and remain the nation's second-largest race or ethnic group behind non-Hispanic whites.

Across the United States, the overall minority population rose to 116 million, or 37 percent, in July 2012, with more than 11 percent of the nation's counties becoming majority-minority, the Census Bureau reported.

Even more striking is the nation's youngest population of children 5 years old and under. That demographic slice is now nearly 50 percent minority. Census officials said that if current growth trends continue, the crossover to majority-minority for that age group will happen within two to three years.

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