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Immigrants flocking to suburbs, new census data shows

by Jorge Hernandez on December 15, 2010

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data for the first time since 2000 on Wednesday, demonstrating that more than ever, immigrants are migrating from the city and into the suburbs. Immigrant populations rose more than 60 percent in areas where they made up less than 5 percent of the population 10 years ago, The New York Times reports.

There were an estimated 13.3 million new residents in suburbia over the past decade, and according to the Census Bureau, more than one third were Hispanic. Additionally, 2.5 million were black and 2 million were Asian.

This is the biggest release of data in the history of the census and it reflects the results of more than 11 billion estimates for 670,000 specific locations across the country. The new information is different than the traditional census, which is meant to account for every American citizen every 10 years, and instead was meant to detail certain characteristics by sampling around 1 in 10 citizens between 2005 and 2009.

The data also indicates that the younger generation is much more diverse than older adults. Nearly half of all newborns last year were racial minorities. However among residents who are over the age of 65 only about one-fifth of citizens fall in that category.

However, the growing diversity has some analysts concerned that there will be a more visible disparity in terms of education. Currently black and Hispanic students have a graduation rate well below that of white students, which could make it difficult to compete with countries such as China and India, which have a burgeoning youth-driven economy.

"Today we have two elevators," Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, a researcher at New York University, told the Times. "One stuck in the basement and the other moving up faster than it ever has before."

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