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Study: Latino population growth slowing, still significant

By Jonathan Sweet

A new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center shows that the growth of the Latino population in the U.S. has slowed dramatically since the Great Recession.

Between 2007 and 2014, the U.S. Hispanic population grew at 2.8 percent annually on average. From 2010 to 2014, it was just 2.4 percent, according to Pew. This was significantly lower than the 5.8 percent growth rate in the 1990s and 4.4 percent rate from 2000 to 2007.

There are two major reasons for the slower growth, the study's authors said. Since the mid-2000s, immigration -- the principal cause of growth in the 1980s and 1990s -- has slowed. In fact, in the case of Mexico, it has actually reversed since 2009.

That resulted, as I wrote about in 2014, in a trend where the bulk of growth in the population came from U.S. births. The birth rate for Hispanic women has also dropped, though, since a peak of 98.3 births per 1,000 women (ages 15 to 44) in 2006. In 2014, that number was 72.1.

This doesn't mean we need to stop thinking about this segment of the population, though. The Latino population is still a significant driver of the overall population growth in the country, as Latinos accounted for 54 percent of the nation’s population growth between 2000 and 2014.

It's also a young population that will have a major effect on the future of our country: 58 percent of Latinos are Millennials or younger. That compares to 51 percent of blacks, 46 percent of Asians and 39 percent of whites.

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