WASHINGTON - The Hispanic population in the United States grew rapidly between 2000 and 2010, to 50.5 million or 16 percent of the total, the Census Bureau said.
The number of people identifying themselves as Hispanic or as Asian grew by 43 percent during the decade, making them the fastest-growing groups.
There were 35.3 million Hispanics in 2000, almost one-sixth of the total population of 308.7 million.
In 2010, Asians were about 5 percent of the total, up from 4 percent in 2000. There were 10.2 million in 2000 and 14.7 million a decade later, an increase of 4.4 million.
Immigration was a major factor in the growth of both groups, Census statisticians said.
The slowest growth was among non-Hispanic whites, with the number increasing by 1 percent. Their share of the population dropped from 69 percent to 64 percent.
In 2010, 38.9 million people identified themselves as black, about 13 percent of the population. Those identifying themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native were .9 percent of the total, while Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders were .2 percent.
While the Census gives residents the option of identifying themselves as mixed-race, 97 percent picked only one.