California's Latino population grew nearly three times as much as the state as a whole in the last decade, making the state home to more than a quarter of the nation's Latinos, according to a new Census Bureau report.
While California's population grew by 10 percent, the 2010 census found, the Latino growth was 27.6 percent, accounting for more than 90 percent of the state's overall population gain. Latinos accounted for more than half of the nation's growth during the decade and now are 16.3 percent of the U.S. population.
Latinos, the census said, now are 37.6 percent of all Californians, up more than five percentage points since 2000. That percentage is exactly the same as that of Texas, with both states trailing only New Mexico, at 46.3 percent.
Many states have seen higher Latino growth rates than California, some nearly 150 percent, such as Alabama and South Carolina.
Latinos now trail non-Latino whites in California by about four percentage points. They are expected to become the state's largest ethnic group by mid-decade.
Their expanding numbers are playing a major role in redrawing legislative and congressional districts. The maps now being drawn by the state's new redistricting commission are expected to result in a sharp increase in Latino officeholders. Preliminary versions of the new maps are to be released on June 10.