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Compared to a 59 percent growth in the 1990s, Latino population growth in 2000-2009
in the United States (excluding Puerto Rico) is estimated at around 29 percent so
far, according to the Census Bureau’s 2005-9 5-year estimates of the American Community
Survey (ACS) that were released yesterday. Between 2000 and 2009, this 29 percent
Latino growth rate compares to only 4 percent for non-Latinos in the United States.

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In 2009, the five largest Latino groups were Mexicans (29.3 million), Puerto Ricans
(4.1 million), Cubans (1.5 million), Salvadorans (1.5 million) and Dominicans (1.2
million). The Latino groups with the highest growth rates in 2000-2009 were: Spaniards
(+371 percent), Uruguyans ((180 percent), Hondurans (153 percent), Guatemalans (147
percent) and Salvadorans (124 percent). See the first table below for more details.

The American Community Survey is also conducted in Puerto Rico. It shows that the
population in Puerto Rico grew by less than 4 percent between 2000 and 2009, trailing
that of the United States, which was 7 percent. In contrast to the United States,
population growth for non-Latinos (11 percent) exceeded that for Puerto Ricans and
other Latinos (3 percent). After Puerto Ricans, who make up 95 percent of the Island’s
population, the largest Latino groups were: Dominicans (69,011), Cubans (19,616),
Mexicans (11,143), Colombians (4,712) and Spaniards (3,966). For more details, see
the second table below.

The 2005-9 American Community Survey (ACS) is not the same as the 2010 Census and
does not include data for 2010; it is an average for the years 2005-2009. As a sample
survey, its statistics are presented within varying margins of area depending of
the size of the statistics in use. The ACS is designed to provide information on
the characteristic of the population, but not population count estimates. Because
it is the best data available on the population for the period covered, its’ population
totals are generally cited, as we have done here, nonetheless. Definitive population
growth rates will have to await the release of the 2010 Census data on race and
Hispanic populations in early 2011.

The 2010 Census data is being released with the population
for each state for apportionment purposes, and race and Hispanic data will first
be released in early 2011 for redistricting purposes.

By Angelo Falcon
National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP)