Census Estimates Show Arkansas Hispanic Population Now Above 140,000

LITTLE ROCK, AR - New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that more than 141,000 Hispanics were living in Arkansas as of last July 1.

The estimates to be released today show that Arkansas' Hispanic population had increased by more than 54,000 since the last Census six years ago.  That's the equivalent of adding a city the size of Pine Bluff to a state of 2.8 million people.

Experts say the wave of Hispanic immigration likely has not crested yet.  Population researchers with the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Institute for Economic Advancement predict another 100,000 Hispanics will come to the state by 2020.  That would make the group about 6.72 percent of the population.

The estimates come as part of nationwide statistics showing the United States' minority population at 100.7 million, more than the nation's total population in 1910.  Hispanics accounted for about half of the nation's 2.9 million growth in population during the previous year.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)