Minority population on the rise
The population of the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, with the minority population reaching 98 million by 2005, one-third of the total population.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's information released in 2006, Hispanics remained the largest minority group in the United States, numbering almost 43 million. They are also the fastest growing segment of the population, having increased their numbers by more than 1 million in the year from 2004 to 2005 alone.
The growth of this single minority group accounted for almost half of the growth in the population at large during that period.
Blacks made up the second-largest minority group, numbering just under 40 million. This group increased by almost 500,000, or 1.3 percent from 2004 to 2005.
With a population of 14.4 million, Asians are the third-largest minority group in the United States, having increased their numbers by 3 percent from 2004 to 2005.
Some common trends are appearing in the data about these three minority groups. The median age among each group is lower than that of the U.S. population overall. The national median age - where half is younger, and half is older - is 36.2 years. Hispanics are the youngest minority with a median age around 27; blacks are next with 30 being the median age. Asians are closer to the national trend, with a median age of 33 years.
The survey also showed that 12 percent of the U.S. population is aged 65 or older. The number of those over 85 passed 5 million. On the other end of the life span, 20.3 million Americans were under age 5.