Newly released census data show that the state’s Hispanic population has grown by nearly 40 percent since 2000, while the Asian population grew by more than 50 percent.
Hispanics now make up 17.7 percent of the state’s total population versus 13.3 percent 10 years ago. Asians now make up 8.2 percent of the state’s total population versus 5.7 percent in 2000.
The percentage of black residents stayed virtually flat over the past decade.
The number of Hispanics of voting age also rose 40% and now makes up 16.3 percent of the state’s total number of residents over 18 versus 12.3 percent 10 years ago.
Asians of voting age grew 54 percent since 2000 and now make up 8.1 percent of the total voting age population versus 5.6 percent in 2000.
Blacks make up 13.1 percent of the voting age population versus 9.8 percent 10 years ago.
Politically, it’s clear that Hispanics, as the state’s largest minority group, will demand greater representation. Republicans have already made public their strategy to try to “pack” a few districts to include as many Hispanics as possible, while Democrats will likely seek to “unpack” districts to spread Hispanic residents over as many districts as possible.