Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tennessee: 2.8% Hispanic - a 35% jump since 2000

The Tennessean reports on the latest U.S. Census figures that show Tennessee's Hispanic population up 35% since 2000. Almost three percent (3%) of the state population is now Hispanic - which translates to approximately 167,000 people. Nationwide, Hispanics account for approximately 12% of the population.

"Tennessee's Hispanic population has grown by almost 35% since 2000, giving Tennessee the sixth-fastest-growing Hispanic population nationwide, according to figures released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau."

"The state's overall population has grown to more than 5.9 million, and Hispanics now account for about 2.8% of that number."

"[T]he overall Hispanic population is ... at about 167,000."

"Tennessee ranks 38th overall in percentage of Hispanics."

"Tennessee's 2004 population is reported as 78.1% white, 17.2% black, 2.8% Hispanic and 1.4% Asian, according to census numbers. In Middle Tennessee, Robertson County showed the highest growth in the Hispanic population with a 95.3% increase, followed by Rutherford and Wilson counties with 78.1% and 70.1% respectively."

"The number of Hispanics in Davidson County grew 37.6% to an estimated total of 35,889, the largest Hispanic population in the Midstate."

"Tennessee's Hispanic population was historically low, but it grew by 286% through the 1990s," according to William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution in Washington. "Recent numbers show that growth is still occurring, but Frey thinks the state's total Hispanic percentage is still low because Tennessee has attracted many other populations as well."

"The Hispanic population in Bedford County has grown by 61%, and Bedford County Schools Superintendent Ed Gray said he expected 14% of this year's student population to be Hispanic. The school system of 7,100 students has eight teachers in its English Language Learner program."

"Especially in areas where the Hispanic population is low, schools and state agencies have to step up and provide the services needed by the changing demographics."

"'It's the wrong assumption that, because the overall population is low, that no effort is needed,' Frey said."

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