Driven mainly by immigration, Asians have become the United States' fastest growing ethnic group. Latest US Census Bureau estimates show our Asian population grew by 530,000, or 2.9% from 2011 to 2012, reaching a total of 18.9 million.
According to Census Bureau analysts, 60% of the rapid growth of the Asian population is a result of immigration.
By comparison, 76% of the growth in the nation's Hispanic population, which reached 53 million in 2012, was fueled naturally - by births minus deaths - with only 24% coming from immigration. Hispanics remain our nation's second largest race or ethnic group, behind non-Hispanic whites, representing about 17% of the total population.
As of July 2012, California had the largest Asian population - 6.0 million - of any state. California also led the nation in increase of Asians, growing by 136,000 since July 1, 2011. In Hawaii, Asians continue to make up the majority, comprising 56.9% of the population.
"Asians and Hispanics have long been among our nation's fastest-growing race or ethnic groups," said acting Census Bureau director Thomas Mesenbourg in a press release.
A Little Older, A Little Younger
While the US nationwide median age climbed slightly to 37.4 years in 2012, up from 37.3 in 2011, Six states actually became "younger." The median age in North Dakota fell by 0.5 years, from 36.6 to 36.1. Other states experiencing slightly small drops in median age were Hawaii, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Kansas and Oklahoma. Median age also fell in 382 counties, led by Williams, North Dakota, with a decrease of 1.7 years, from 36.6 to 34.9.
The "oldest" state in 2012 was Maine, with a median age of 43.5, compared to 30.0 in Utah, the nation's "youngest" state. Median ages among counties ranged from 64.8 in Sumter, Florida, to 23.0 in Madison, Idaho. Overall, there were 53 counties where the median age was greater than 50, and 68 counties where it was less than 30.
Nationally, the 65-and-older population grew by 4.3% between 2011 and 2012, to 43.1 million, or 13.7 percent of the total US population.
The data comes from the Census Bureau's 2012 Population Estimates for states, counties, cities, towns, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.