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Number of U.S. Hispanic students hits high

Aug. 25, 2011 at 11:51 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Enrollment of Hispanic students attending college in the United States surged 24 percent from 2009 to 2010, narrowing gaps with other groups, a think tank says.

The number of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds attending college rose by 349,000 to reach 1.8 million, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a release Thursday. The Hispanic population in that age group grew by 7 percent during the year.

The total number of U.S. college students in the 18- to 24-year-old age group rose by 100,000 to an all-time high of 12.2 million, while the total college student population rose to 20.3 million from 19.8 million a year earlier.

The center said new U.S. Census Bureau data Pew show Hispanic enrollment is higher than African-American enrollment, which was up by 88,000 students in the same age group, and Asian-American enrolment, which rose by 43,000. Non-Hispanic white student enrollment was down in 2010 by 320,000 to 7.7 million.

The Pew Hispanic Center surmised that the increase is due in part to population growth.

The Hispanic population became the largest U.S. minority group in 2010, due to high levels of immigration and high birth rates.

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