LIFESTYLE

New Mexico, the Most Latino State in the Union, Gets Even More Latino

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez outlines her legislative priorities to New Mexico's 112 lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan.  18, 2011 in Santa Fe, N.M.  Martinez is reaching out to Democrats as the Legislature returns to work. Martinez used her State of the State speech Tuesday to call for a bipartisan approach to New Mexico's pressing problems, including a $400 million budget shortfall.  (AP Photo/The New Mexican,  Jane Phillips)

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez outlines her legislative priorities to New Mexico's 112 lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 in Santa Fe, N.M. Martinez is reaching out to Democrats as the Legislature returns to work. Martinez used her State of the State speech Tuesday to call for a bipartisan approach to New Mexico's pressing problems, including a $400 million budget shortfall. (AP Photo/The New Mexican, Jane Phillips)

According to the U.S. Census, the most Latino state in the Union is growing even more Hispanic. 

Latinos accounted for the vast majority of  New Mexico's population growth between 2000 and 2010.

The state grew by more than 240,000 people over the decade to 2 million and 78 percent of that increase was due to Hispanics.

Latinos now make up 46 percent of the state's population, up from 42 percent in 2000.

That is in stark contrast to West Virginia, the least Latino state in the union, where Latinos accounted for less than one percent of the population at .7 percent.

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials executive director, Arturo Vargas says California has the second highest rate of Hispanics, with 38 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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