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Nation’s Population One-Third Minority

     About 1-in-every-3 U.S. residents was part of a group other than single-race non-Hispanic white — according to national estimates by race, Hispanic origin and age released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2005, the nation’s minority population totaled 98 million, or 33 percent, of the country’s total of 296.4 million.

     “These mid-decade numbers provide further evidence of the increasing diversity of our nation’s population,” said Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon.

     Hispanics continue to be the largest minority group at 42.7 million. With a 3.3 percent increase in population from July 1, 2004, to July 1, 2005, they are the fastest-growing group.

     Unless otherwise specified, the data refer to the population who reported a race alone or in combination with one or more other races. The tables show data for both this group and those who reported a single race only.

     The second largest minority group was blacks (39.7 million), followed by Asians (14.4 million), American Indians and Alaska natives (4.5 million) and native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders (990,000). The population of non-Hispanic whites who indicated no other race totaled 198.4 million in 2005. (See Table 1)

     Highlights for the various groups follow:


  • Hispanics accounted for almost half (1.3 million, or 49 percent) of the national population growth of 2.8 million between July 1, 2004, and July 1, 2005.


  • Of the increase of 1.3 million, 800,000 was because of natural increase (births minus deaths) and 500,000 was because of immigration. (See Table 2)


  • The Hispanic population in 2005 was much younger with a median age of 27.2 years compared to the population as a whole at 36.2 years. About a third of the Hispanic population was under 18, compared with one-fourth of the total population. (See Table 3.)

     Non-Hispanic whites

  • The non-Hispanic, single-race white population, which represented just under 67 percent of the total population, accounted for less than a fifth (19 percent) of the nation’s total population growth.


  • Of the increase of 500,000, about 300,000 was because of natural increase with 200,000 attributed to immigration.


  • The non-Hispanic, single-race white population in 2005 was older than the population as a whole: the respective median ages were 40.3 and 36.2. About 22 percent of the population of this group was under 18, compared with 25 percent of the total population.

     Also released today were tabulations by age and sex, which showed:

     Age and Sex

  • There were 36.8 million people age 65 and older, accounting for 12 percent of the total population. (See Table 3 Excel | PDF.)


  • The number of people age 85 and older reached 5.1 million.


  • In 2005, working-age adults (18- to 64-year-olds) totaled 186.2 million, which was 63 percent of the population.


  • The total number of preschoolers (under age 5) in the United States in 2005 was estimated at 20.3 million.


  • The number of elementary school-age (5 through 13) children was 36.1 million, with high-school age (14 though 17) children numbering 17.1 million.


  • There were 104 males per every 100 females under 18. This ratio declines with age, however, to 72 men for every 100 women 65 and over and 46 men per every 100 women age 85 and over.

The federal government treats Hispanic origin and race as separate and distinct concepts. In surveys and censuses, separate questions are asked on Hispanic origin and race. The question on Hispanic origin asks respondents if they are Spanish, Hispanic or Latino. Starting with Census 2000, the question on race asks respondents to report the race or races they consider themselves to be. Thus, Hispanics may be of any race. (See U.S. Census Bureau Guidance on the Presentation and Comparison of Race and Hispanic Origin Data.)

These data are based on estimates of U.S. population for July 1, 2005. The Census Bureau estimates population change from the most recent decennial census (Census 2000) using annual data on births, deaths and international migration. More detailed information on the methodology used to produce these estimates can be found at <>.


Copyright 2006 design and content by John S. Christie and Jose B. Gonzalez
Copyright 2006 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, Pearson Education, Inc.
Copyright 2006 Latino Fiction and the Modernist Imagination, John S. Christie

Last Updated: February 26, 2011