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There Are More Latinos Than Whites In California Now

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The tally is in and it's official: Latinos outnumber whites in California, making them the largest ethnic group in the state.

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their final numbers, showing that as of July 1, 2014, there were 14.99 million Latinos living in California compared to 14.92 million whites, according to the L.A. Times. This would make California the second state in the nation where Latinos make up the largest ethnic group. New Mexico is the other state, though their numbers aren't quite as huge as California's, NPR reports. It turns out that both California and Los Angeles County have the largest Latino population of any other state or county in the U.S.

Although the results of this tally were expected since the California Department of Finance predicted in 2013 that Latinos would outnumber whites in the state in 2014, these figures make it official. "This is sort of the official statistical recognition of something that has been underway for almost an entire generation," Roberto Suro, director of the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute at USC, told the Times.

The growth of the Latino population over the last few decades is pretty major. There are six times as many Latinos in California as there were in 1970.

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Suro, who's also written books on immigration and Latinos in America, explained to NPR why there was this surge in the Latino population:

Well, the growth here was fed first by immigration, primarily in the '80s and '90s and the first part of the 2000s, up until the Great Recession. But then starting in the early 2000s, natural increase—just the number of births over deaths - became the primary way that the Hispanic population was growing. And that's been true here for quite some time. Immigration brings in young adults. Young adults are at the peak of their fertility, and the white population has been aging. So baby boomers produced a lot of babies in the 1980s, bringing us the millennial generation, but since the 1990s, boomers have mostly been beyond childbearing.

He added, "The white population is actually—in terms of natural increase in the United States, it's shrinking."