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New numbers released by the Census Bureau late last week show that the percentage of Latinos in the United States increased by 3.1 percent last year.  Now comprising just under 16 percent of the total population, Hispanics total 48.4 million people in the US.

As the country as a whole continues to become younger and more diverse, the Latino community is fueling much of this trend.  In 2009, Hispanics accounted for 55 percent of the total US population growth, with 68 percent of this number being a result of births as opposed to immigration, reflecting a trend that began a few years ago.

The growth rate of the Latino community is fueled by its younger age and birth to death ration.  For every nine Latino births there is just one death of a Hispanic.  At the same time, the white population is at a zero percent growth rate.

The average age by ethnic groups varies widely with Hispanics at 27.4 years;  Asians 35.3 years; blacks 31.3 years; and 41.2 years for white.  The national average is 36.8 years.

Already the majority of the populations of the states of New Mexico, Hawaii, California and Texas, as well as the District of Columbia, are comprised of “minority” ethnic groups.

The numbers released were the most recent that the Census Bureau has tabulated.   Well underway in conducting their 2010 Census, the Bureau is expected to release its full findings at the end of the year.  These numbers will help determine a wide array of federal spending measures and be used to re-draw congressional districts.


A report released Monday by America’s Voice, an immigration reform advocacy group, highlights the increasing importance of the Latino vote. The report outlines 40 specific midterm elections where Latinos could have a significant impact on the the result.

“Most politicians understand the importance of the Latino vote in presidential years, but what we’re saying is that Latino voters will have a huge impact in the mid-term elections,” Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, said on a conference call with reporters Monday. “The number of voters coming of age and registering continues to grow. You have seen growth even when a presidential race isn’t at the top of the ticket.”

According to the report, nearly 20 percent of congressional districts that will hold elections during the upcoming midterm cycle have a Latino population of at least 25 percent. And Latinos are also the fastest growing segment of the electorate in the United States. From 2000 to 2008, Latino voter registration increased 54 percent, and Latino voter turnout increased 64 percent. Continue Reading »

A comment by former Congressman Tom Tancredo (R, CO) at last week’s Tea Party convention in Nashville has raised concern among immigration activists and Hispanic groups.  During a speech, Tancredo said, “People who could not spell the word vote or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House — name is Barack Hussein Obama.”  Additionally, he also suggested that President Obama was only elected because “we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.”

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Latinovations would like to thank Wendy Bruget for her contribution to La Plaza.

When the team at Latinovations asked me to reflect on my recent trip to Copenhagen, I wasn’t sure that my focus area of garbage would be of particular interest to their blog readers. Alongside the Cinderella of the United Nations Summit was its less publicized sister, the International Solid Waste Association’s Conference on Waste and Climate Change( http://www.wasteandclimate.org/.) The purpose of the conference I attended was to bring attention to the relationship of waste and climate change. Continue Reading »

Check out  why actor Wilmer Valderrama thinks it is critical for Latinos to participate in the 2010 Census.

On Wednesday, actor Wilmer Valderrama joined members of Congress and national Hispanic leaders at the Capitol Hill launch of Voto Latino’s census campaign, “Be Counted, Represent!”. Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), and Michael Honda (D-Calif.) along with Brent Wilkes, executive director of LULAC, which is an official partner, spoke in support  of the effort to ensure participation of Latino youth in the upcoming Census. Continue Reading »

On Wednesday, February 3rd, the California Senate held its first hearing on whether to confirm state Senator Abel Maldonado as lieutenant governor.  Democrats, who control the California legislature, are weighing their choice cautiously; on one hand, they would be handing the state’s second highest office to a Republican, but on the other hand it would result in a special election for Maldonado’s current seat which could bring the Democrats within one vote of a two-thirds majority.

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