A man sells flags at an immigration rally in Los Angeles.
Latin America: Week in Review, United States

Immigration Drove Population Growth Over Last Decade In U.S., Says Census Bureau

December 7, 2010 By Staff

A man sells flags at an immigration rally in Los Angeles.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — The United States Census Bureau released estimates on Monday that showed that the U.S. population grew to somewhere between 306 million and 313 million over the last decade.

The estimates are separate from the official census results, which will be released in a few weeks, and are based on a review of birth and death records as well as calculations of new immigrants as of April 1, 2010.

“For the first time, we are providing a series of demographic analysis estimates to more clearly demonstrate the uncertainty in these figures,” said Census director Robert Groves, according to Business Week.

The rapid immigration shifts since 2000 has made pinpointing the exact tally more difficult. Hispanics made up 17 percent of the population under age 20 in 2000, but now they represent between 22 and 25 percent of that age group.

The non-Hispanic youth population dropped between 1.25 million and 2.9 million; without Hispanics, the total number of young people in the United States would have declined between 2000 and 2010.

Estimates, such as those released Monday, are traditionally used to measure how accurate the official census is. This is the first time the Census Bureau has put out five wide-ranging estimates, which is seen as a reflection of the stirring in immigration patterns of the last decade caused by the recession and crackdowns on undocumented workers.

“The U.S. population is becoming more diverse from youngest to oldest and Hispanics are the driving force behind this youth diversity,” said Kenneth Johnson, a sociology professor at the University of New Hampshire, according to Business Week.

In 2000, the official census count was 281.4 million.

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