Census 2010: 1 in 6 Americans is Latino

The 2010 Census’ final population count is in, showing that we now number 50.5 million or 16 percent of the U.S. population, up 43 percent from 2000. Those numbers account for more than half of the growth of the country’s population in a decade that saw an aging white population, according to the findings, part of the Census bureau’s first set of national –level findings released Thursday. Of the 27.3 million added to the U.S. population in the last decade, 15.2 million were Hispanic. Take a look around: 1 in 6 Americans is now a Latino.

Census officials said follow-up reports to be released starting in May will lay out the reasons for the growth, including an estimate on what part illegal immigration has played in it. The rise in Latino population was not wholly unexpected, as a previous Pew Hispanic Center analysis based on released state information had predicted that the final count would be 900,000 more than the census expected.

With figures for all 50 states in now, it’s official: Every state experienced Latino growth, with states along the South seeing the biggest spikes. Alabama saw the most dramatic rise: 144% growth.