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Latinos will become California's largest ethnic group very soon, a new Census Bureau report indicates.

The bureau issued its first post-2010 census estimates of population growth, birth rates, age cohorts, and racial and ethnic characteristics.

It pegs California's Latino population (it uses the term "Hispanic") at 14.4 million, 38.2 percent of the state's 37.7 million residents, while the non-Hispanic white population is just under 15 million or 39.7 percent, dropping below the 40 percent mark for the first time.

For several years, demographers have predicted that the state's Latino population would surpass whites by 2015, but the new Census Bureau reports indicates that the crossover may occur somewhat sooner.

Although immigration from Latin America has slowed to almost a stop, other findings indicate, Latinos tend to be younger than the white population and have much-higher birthrate, thus expanding their population while that of whites continues to shrink..

California's median age of 35.4 is two percentage points lower than the national median of 37.3.

But California's Latinos have a median age of 27.4, while the non-Hispanic white population's median age is 44.8 and rising rapidly as the huge Baby Boom generation, born between 1946 and 1965, moves into middle age and beyond.



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