Hispanic Growth Outpaced Estimates

Haya El Nasser, USA Today, March 15, 2011

The Hispanic population grew more dramatically than expected in states with smaller and newer immigrant populations, according to an analysis of Census data out today.

The 2010 Census counted almost 600,000 more Hispanics than the Census Bureau had estimated in the 33 states for which data have been released so far, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Twenty-eight states had more Hispanics than expected.

The Census count of 38.7 million Hispanics is 1.5% higher than the bureau’s estimates.

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The underestimates show that immigrants continue to spread into the South and the Midwest from traditional gateways, such as California and New York.

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In Arizona, the opposite happened: The Census counted almost 1.9 million Hispanics, 8.7% or 180,000 fewer than estimated.

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The recession was expected to encourage immigrants to return to their countries of origin, but it does not seem to have had a significant impact.

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In 2000, the estimate of 274.5 million was about 7 million short of the Census count. Much of the gap was due to a low estimate of Hispanics–mostly illegal immigrants.

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