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Census: Hispanics now largest minority group in Wisconsin

A demonstrator holds a Mexican national flag in front of riot policemen during a protest against the privatization of the state oil monopoly
A demonstrator holds a Mexican national flag in front of riot policemen during a protest against the privatization of the state oil monopoly

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  For the first time, Hispanics have become Wisconsin's largest minority group. The U-S Census Bureau said Latinos made up 6.34-percent of the state's population last year. Almost 364,000 Hispanics now call Wisconsin home, four times more than in 1980.

African-Americans, traditionally the state's largest minority, fell to the second-largest. They make up 6.26-percent of the total population. Whites now make up 82.5-percent of the state's total.

Overall, the Census Bureau said Wisconsin has just under one-percent more people than it did in 2010. The Badger State attracted 53,000 total residents in the past three years, but it has fewer young people. The statewide total for those 19-and-under dropped by 2.20percent since 2010. However, Hispanics in that age group grew by 5.7-percent.

U-W Milwaukee associate professor Enrique Figueroa said Hispanics became the state's largest minority faster than he expected. He said a large part of Wisconsin's workforce will be Hispanic in 20 years -- and schools need to beef up their education and training to Latinos now.

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