ABC News’ Arlette Saenz reports:
While the Southwest grew in overall population, New Mexico saw a shift in the composition of its population as Hispanics became the largest population in New Mexico, according to 2010 Census data released today.
The number of Hispanics in New Mexico surged to become the largest group in the state, making up 46.3 percent of the population. Whites now make up 40.5 percent of the state.
This is a stark change since 2000 when 44.7 percent of the state’s population consisted of whites. At that time, Hispanics made up only 42.1 percent of the population.
While neither race can claim it comprises the majority of the population, part of this leapfrogging can be credited to the faster pace at which Hispanics grew. The Hispanic population increased by 24.6 percent in New Mexico since 2000 while whites grew at only a 2.5 percent rate.
Overall, the state of New Mexico experienced a boom as it expanded by 13.2 percent with its three largest cities – Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Rio Rancho – growing substantially at 21.7 percent, 31.4 percent, and 69.1 percent, respectively.