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Census: Hispanics Drive Population Growth in South and West

Results from the 2010 U.S. Census were released today, showing that the growth in population experienced in the Southern and Western U.S. was driven by minorities, and Hispanics in particular.

According to the New York Times, the population grew 9.7 percent, the slowest rate since 1940. Texas, Florida, Arizona, and a number of other states were among those gaining Congressional seats, while New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts were in the group that will lose seats. The results will have an impact on Congressional redistricting as well.

While the seat gains are in states that lean Republican, the increase in the Hispanic population could provide inroads for Democrats. Susan Milligan at U.S. News & World Report writes:

Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in the country, and they are changing the political complexion of states like Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada–all states that went from being fairly reliably Republican to swing states, and which may, in the next decade or two, become reliably Democratic. Even Texas may come into play for the wounded Democrats in future elections.

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