WASHINGTON — The nation’s minority population is steadily rising and now makes up 35 percent of the U.S., boosted by a surge in Hispanic births and more Americans who describe themselves as multiracial.
New Census estimates for 2009 show minorities added 2.5 percent, or 107.2 million people. The white population remained flat, making up roughly 199.9 million, or 65 percent, of the country.
In 2000, whites comprised 79 percent of the total population and minorities 21 percent.
Currently four states — Hawaii, New Mexico, California and Texas — as well as the District of Columbia had minority populations that exceeded 50 percent. About 316 of the 3,143 counties — one in 10 — have minority populations of 50 percent or greater. That’s up from more than 250 counties in 2000.