Immigration laws and the recession have slowed the growth of America’s immigrant populations, delaying the date when minorities will become the majority by as much as 10 years, the AP reports. Estimates had pointed to 2042, but it now could be another decade as growth slowed from 4% in 2001 to 3.2% last year among Hispanics, while Asian growth dropped from 3.7% to 2.5%.
The shift is more than just a census statistic. Many immigrants are following jobs; 36 states had lower Hispanic growth in 2008, mostly in housing-bubble casualties like Nevada and Arizona. The resulting shift could cause a dozen states to lose seats in Congress after the 2010 census. Overall, the minority population is still on a steady climb, adding 2.3% in 2008.