Latinos account for more than half of the U.S. population growth since 2000, an unprecedented growth spurt that puts the total Hispanic population at a record 57 million, according to a new report.
The Pew Research Center said that Latinos now account for about 17 percent of all in America, a huge change that is sure to shift electoral politics and government programs.
And the population surge comes as legal immigration by Latinos appears to be slowing, said Pew.
The center found that Hispanics now live in more than half of America's 3,000 counties, and are heavily weighted on the coasts and South.
In New Mexico, for example, nearly half the population is Hispanic. In California, it's 39 percent. In Colorado, it's 21 percent.
What's more, some 53 percent of all Hispanics live in 15 metropolitan areas, with over half of the population in the Miami and Washington, D.C., areas foreign born. Said Pew: "Immigrants made up the majority in two of the top 15: In Florida's Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, 61% of 2.6 million Hispanics were foreign born in 2014, while in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (which includes the District of Columbia and parts of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia), 53% of 900,000 Hispanics are foreign born."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org