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N.J. should adapt to state's changing demographics: Census panel

NEWARK — When the Census released its first batch of New Jersey data earlier this year, the state's demographic trends were consistent with the rest of the United States: A rising Hispanic population, a general migration to the state's southern region and an exodus from traditional urban centers.

Now, the question is how the state's political, business and social leaders will apply the information as the 21st century progresses, a panel of experts said today at the Newark Museum.

The symposium, "The Newest New Jerseyans," sponsored by the museum, The Star-Ledger, Rutgers University's Center for Migration and the Global City and the Program on Immigration and Democracy at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, paid particular attention to the state's growing Hispanic population.

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Census: Florida's Hispanics grow more diverse

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida saw a massive influx of Central and South Americans in the last decade, adding complexity to a state that is already home to one of the nation's most diverse Hispanic populations, according to Census figures released Thursday.

Cubans remain the largest single Hispanic group in Florida, but their share of the state's Latino population dropped slightly over the last decade to just under a third. Meanwhile, the number of Central and South Americans increased by more than a half-million residents. South Florida was their top destination, with Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach together gaining more than half of these new arrivals.

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America's Growing Hispanic Population: Investing in the Future 'Mainstay of Our Labor Force'

Published: April 27, 2011 / knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu

The most recent tally of the nation's Hispanic population startled even demographers: According to the 2010 Census, Hispanics in the U.S. now number 50.5 million, or one out of every six Americans. From 2000 to 2010, more than half of the nation's population growth was due to Hispanics. In every single state in the union, the percentage of Hispanics increased.

The burgeoning Hispanic population creates both challenges and opportunities for the future, say social demographers and Wharton economists. Short term, Hispanics may stimulate business, pump up weak housing markets, replenish an aging labor force and revitalize dying communities. But as Hispanic babies boom and America's non-Hispanic white population shrinks, an ethnic generation gap looms. Longer term, experts say, the country must find a way to educate an increasingly diverse and underprivileged generation of children or risk losing its competitive edge.

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