The Hispanic population grew by 43 percent in the last decade – four times the rate of the nation’s general population, according to Census data released Thursday.

The Hispanic population grew by slightly more than 15 percent since 2000, which accounted for more than 50 percent of the overall U.S. population increase of 27.3 million people.

The vast majority of Latinos continue to be of Mexican origin. People reporting Mexican ancestry made up 63 percent of all Latinos. That represented an increase for Mexican-Americans from their 2000 cut of 58 percent.

In raw numbers, people reporting Mexican ancestry grew by 11.2 million in the last decade, from nearly 21 million to almost 32 million.

The next two largest groups were, as they have been for decades, those reporting Puerto Rican and Cuban ancestry.

Puerto Ricans grew by 36 percent, growing from 3.4 million to 4.6 million. People of Cuban ancestry grew by 44 percent, from 1.2 million to 1.8 million.

Since 2000, three Hispanic origin groups surpassed a population of one million: Salvadoran, with 1.6 million, Dominican, with 1.4 million and Guatemalan, with one million.

Hispanics number about 50 million, making them the nation's largest minority group.

The Hispanic population grew in every region of the United States between 2000 and 2010, and most significantly in the South and Midwest. The South saw a 57 percent increase in its Hispanic population, which was four times the 14 percent growth of the total population in that region.

Significant growth also occurred in the Midwest, where the Hispanic population grew by 49 percent. This was more than 12 times the growth – which was four percent -- of the total population in the Midwest.

Of all states, New Mexico had the highest percentage of Latinos as part of its total population. The state’s Latinos made up nearly half -- 46 percent – of the total population.

Hispanics were 16 percent or more of the state population matching or exceeding the national level in eight other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Follow Elizabeth Llorente on Twitter: @LlorenteLatino


Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino
Like us at facebook.com/foxnewslatino