Census Bureau reports jump in Asian and Hispanic populations

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Changing America

Asian and Hispanic Populations Jump

The Associated Press

W A S H I N G T O N, Aug. 30  Which are the fastest-growing minority groups?

The Census Bureau says between 1990 and 1999, the nations Asian and Pacific Islander population grew 43 percent to almost 11 million people. The Hispanic population grew almost 40 percent to more than 31 million people.

California, Texas and New York continue to have the highest number of minorities, but Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina had the biggest percentage increases.

In Nevada, new hotels and casinos have brought an influx of Asians and Hispanics eager to fill construction and service-industry jobs. That also made Nevada the fasting-growing state from 1990 to 1999.

Those new hotels and casinos that sprouted up in Nevadas Clark County this past decade attracted more than just gamblers anxious to try their luck under the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Nevada Grows 50 Percent

The boom also brought an influx of Asians and Hispanics eager to fill new construction and service-industry jobs, a development that helped make Nevada the fastest-growing state in the 1990s.

New Census Bureau estimates released today show that increases in the nations two fastest-growing minority populations are also helping to spark gains elsewhere.

Its largely a condition of jobs and the network of people they know there, said John Haaga of the Population Reference Bureau, a Washington-based research group. Thats the traditional American experience.

Nationally, the countrys white population increased 7.3 percent between 1990 and 1999 to 224.6 million. Blacks remained the countrys largest minority group, experiencing a 13.8 percent spike during the same period to 34.8 million, while the American Indian and Alaska Native population increased 15.5 percent to 2.3 million.

The white, black and American Indian populations for the most part just dont show that dramatic of a change, Census analyst Larry Sink said. Overall, the Hispanic and Asian growth is largely being fueled by immigration.

Nevadas 50 percent population growth led all states during the 90s. Its Asian population rose 123.7 percent to 88,208, the largest such increase in the nation, while its Hispanic population rose 144.6 percent to 304,364. Hispanics can be of any race.

Unprecedented new hotel and casino construction in Clark County opened up more jobs during the decade, said Steven Kwon, a Las Vegas architect and founder of the areas Asian Chamber of Commerce. In that county alone, the Hispanic population rose 164.3 percent to 219,075, while its Asian population rose 139.3 percent to 64,636.

In-migration into southern Nevada is dominated by people from Southern California, said Dr. Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. And Southern California has historically had a high portion of the Asian and Hispanic population.

Dramatic Difference in the South

California had the biggest Hispanic population with 10.4 million. Over 2.7 million Hispanics moved into the state between 1990 and 1999, a 35.8 percent increase.

Arkansas, meanwhile, had the biggest percentage growth among Hispanics, increasing 170.3 percent to 53,729 in the 90s.

Millie Johnson moved to Springdale, Ark., 13 years ago and is office manager at the Northwest Arkansas Multicultural Center there. Jobs available at the areas chicken and poultry plants drew in the new population, but the Hispanic influx still caught a lot of the areas longtime residents by surprise, she said.

There has definitely been a dramatic difference, Johnson said.

On the county level, Sink at the Census said some of the most significant increases in Hispanic growth occurred in the metropolitan Atlanta area, including Gwinnett County, Ga., (up 215.6 percent in the 90s to 26,731) and Cobb County, Ga. (up 158.9 percent to 24,350).

Los Angeles County, meanwhile, had the biggest Hispanic population by county: 4.1 million, up 23.6 percent.

As for Asian population by state, California had the most, 4 million, up 36.8 percent in the 90s. New York was second with just over 1 million, up 44.5 percent.

By county, Los Angeles County also topped all the others in Asian population with 1.2 million, up 26.1 percent in the decade. Honolulu County, Hawaii, was next with 562,403, up 5.3 percent.

Besides Clark County, Nev., Sink said other significant county-level increases in Asian population occurred in Fort Bend, Texas (up 127.6 percent to 33,048), as well as the two Georgia counties again: Gwinnett (up 180.7 percent to 28,793) and Cobb (up 135.7 percent to 18,758).

New jobs in construction, food processing and textile industries were the main attraction in Georgia, said Robert Giacomini, director of research for the states data center.

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

-- (M@rket.trends), August 30, 2000


SCANDANEWS Service, Minneapolis--Hmongs have displaced many Norwegians from the Norse ghettos in MinneSOATa. This demographic change is significantly affecting the life-style of the upper midwest. Hmongs wear odd clothes, eat smelly foods, listen to funny music and have a different sense of personal space than do Norwegians according to Per Olerud, President of the Sons of Norway, Hibbing. "For years, we have endured the Finlanders, but this is too much, ja?" said Olerud.

-- Lars (lars@indy.net), August 30, 2000.

Hey Ole, how many Norwegians have been mayor of DC?

Finlander power!

-- (JohnKoskinen@The_ best_little_sauna_in.DC), September 04, 2000.

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