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Special Event

Jorge Del Pinal Addresses National Press Club Regarding Census 2000 Statistics on Ethnicity, Race

Aired March 12, 2001 - 1:08 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: If strength is measured in numbers, then the nation's Hispanics are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. According to the 2000 census, they now rival African Americans as the leading minority group in this country. Today, the Census Bureau holds a news conference to share more of its findings.

And for more on that, here's CNN's Jeanne Meserve in Washington.

Hi there, Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Natalie.

An ethnic snapshot of the nation being released as we speak by the U.S. Census Bureau. It says the diversity of the nation is continuing to grow. And according to the statistics, Hispanics have now supplanted blacks as the largest minority group in the country.

Let's go right away to the National Press Club, where Jorge Del Pinal is speaking.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JORGE DEL PINAL, SPEC. POPULATION STATISTICS: So by 2000, we have close to 195 million, or about 69 percent of the total population, everybody else. So we can think of this as the minority population. It's still less than one-third of the nation's population, but it is growing rapidly.

In 1990, there were almost 61 million people in this category, about 24 percent of the population. The increase was about 26.3 million and it represented about a 43 percent increase over 1990. So in the year 2000, we had close to 87 million in this group and about -- it constituted about 31 percent of the nation's population.

OK, the other part -- now Claudette (ph) and I will begin to desegregate this overall term of diversity and look at different segments of that diversity. One segment is the Hispanic or Latino population.

Now, Hispanics or Latinos can be of any race. Remember, we got the information from two separate questions. So, in 1990, the Hispanic population was about 22.4 million and represented about 9 percent of the whole population. Now, that figure increased by 13 million, an increase of about 58 percent since 1990. And by the year 2000 then, they constituted about 35 million people, or about 13 percent of the nation's total.

MESERVE: You're listening there to a briefing on U.S. census statistics. Today, a snapshot of ethnicity and race. According to the numbers, whites make up 75.1 percent of the U.S. population, blacks 12.3 percent, Hispanics 13 percent, and Asians 3.6 percent.

Also, this was the first year that respondents to the census could check off a multiracial category. We are told that only 2.4 percent of the respondents chose to take advantage of that particular possibility.

More statistics coming up through the afternoon. And we'll be discussing some of them with Detroit's mayor in the next hour; talk about the implications for his city politically and financially.

Right now, back to you, Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, never liked that word anyway. Thanks, Jeanne.

MESERVE: Oh, it's a tough one, isn't it?

ALLEN: Yes.

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