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Census Bureau reports state is more diverse

Associated Press

The face of Minnesota is changing.

While the state's senior citizens remain overwhelmingly white, the number of minorities in the youngest age groups is booming, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau estimates cover the first three years of this decade. They break every U.S. county down by race or ethnicity and age.

Across the state, the agency reported, whites remain by far the largest group, but the major minority groups are growing at a clip that is four to five times faster.

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In the three-year period in Hennepin County, the Census Bureau estimates, the preschool age group swelled by nearly 1,800 Hispanic children -- a 31 percent increase -- but by only about 1,100 white children -- a 2 percent increase.

The racial makeup of a kindergarten class in south Minneapolis is a whole lot different from that of a typical nursing home.

Only four of Mike Marquardt's 5-year-olds at Hans Christian Andersen Elementary are native English speakers. Most of the kids look puzzled when you point to an airplane and ask them for the word in English. They watch "Spiderman" in Spanish via satellite from Mexico, where many of their families are from.

Demographer Hazel Reinhardt said in today's Minnesota, "White folks are old folks and old folks are white folks." And that will hold true as time goes on.

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