Hispanic Population, Rising Faster Than Anticipated, A 'Huge Weapon' For Obama
By Sam Stein
The Huffington Post
May 31, 2011
The biggest political story over the past week didn't involve a bus tour, sordid tweets sent from a congressman's account or even the posturing over whether to raise the nation's debt ceiling.
Instead, it was the no-thrills release of a 16-page report by the Census bureau, which underscored a massive paradigm shift in how politics is conducted.
On May 26, the Census released what an official at the bureau described as "the latest, most up to date data on the Hispanic population in the United States." The numbers, culled from its 2010 survey, tell a remarkable -- albeit anticipated -- story: The Hispanic population is growing at a rate much faster than any other demographic.
"The new census data affirms that one of the great stories of the 21st century is the changing majority of America from a majority white country to a majority minority country," said Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of NDN, a Democratic-leaning think tank that has focused heavily on Hispanic issues. "From a national political standpoint it’s a huge development."
Currently, 50.5 million Hispanics live in the United States (roughly 16 percent of its 308.7 million population), a significant increase from the 35.3 million Hispanics in the country in 2000. The 15.2 million difference accounts for more than half of U.S. population growth during that same time period.
And in some areas of the country, that ratio is even more pronounced.