LIFESTYLE

Latinos Keep Youth Population Afloat

The new population numbers released by the government Monday contained this bombshell: In the last decade, Latinos accounted for all the growth in the U.S. youth population.

Let's say that again: All.

In 2000, Hispanics made up 17 percent of the U.S. population under age 20. They now represent somewhere between 22 and 25 percent of that age group.

Without Hispanics, the number of young people in the U.S. would have declined between 2000 and 2010. Based on the estimates, the non-Hispanic youth population declined somewhere by between 1.25 million and 2.9 million.

"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, who reviewed the numbers.

The estimates are based on a review of birth and death records as well as calculations of new immigrants as of April 1, 2010. Demographers say the range of numbers offers a rough guide to the official 2010 Census results that will be used to apportion House seats when they are released later this month.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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