Hispanics Hit 15% of US Population
High birth rate a big asset to the economy as workforce ages
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted May 1, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
Gina Amparan and son Dominic, of Hayfield, Minn., work on a computer under a banner that says "Welcome" in 11 languages at the Owatonna Public Library in Owatonna, Minn.   (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
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(Newser) – The US Hispanic population is booming, driven more by a high birth rate among those already in the country than immigration, the Census Bureau says. Since 2000, Latinos have jumped from 12.6% to more than 15% of the total population—swelling their numbers to 45.5 million from 35.7 million. "If you close the borders tomorrow, there is still going to be a large Hispanic increase," a demographer tells the Wall Street Journal.

 The increase—half of the US population growth during that span—is affecting the political landscape, how products are marketed, and the health of the economy, the Journal notes. By 2050, the data suggest, Hispanics will hit 31% of the working-age population. "If you are pro-economic growth, you must be pro-immigration and pro-Hispanic," a banker observes, "because we don''t have the workers."