Census: Hispanic population growing by thousands in Ohio

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COLUMBUS (AP) -- New census estimates show Ohio added more than 32,000 Hispanic residents from 2010 to 2013. Two-thirds of Ohio's counties have seen increases in their Hispanic populations since 2010 and declines in the number of non-Hispanic residents, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Ohio has become more diverse, as has the country.

Overall, the Hispanic population grew from about 3.1 percent of the state's total population to 3.4 percent.

People who identify as Hispanic are driving population growth in 87 of Ohio's 88 counties. The exception was Meigs County, where the numbers of Hispanic and non-Hispanics both declined. Hispanic origin is considered to be an ethnicity, so Hispanics can be of any race under Census Bureau definitions. Hispanics include those who identify as being Chicano, Cuban Mexican, Mexican American or Puerto Rican, and those from other Hispanic, Latino or Spanish backgrounds.

The growth in that segment of the population is occurring as more U.S.-born Hispanics reach adulthood and have children, said Ohio State University associate sociology professor Reanne Frank.

"The national trends are clear: The growth in Hispanics is growing faster than non-Hispanics because of births, not immigration," Frank said.

The Hispanic population is growing in "virtually every corner" of the nation, said Mark Hugo Lopez, the director of Hispanic research at the Pew Research Center.

He told The (Toledo) Blade that what is unique about the rise in the Hispanic population is that it is being driven by births rather the arrival of new immigrants.

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