U.S. Census: Hispanics remain largest minority group in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. Census Bureau estimates show Hispanics remain the largest minority group in Oklahoma, but the Native American population has made gains after dropping from the largest minority in last year's report.
The census estimates show that Hispanics made up 9.1 percent of Oklahoma's estimated 3.79 million residents in 2011 and that the Native American Alaskan Native group made up 8.9 percent. Native Americans and Alaskan Natives are counted as one group by the bureau.
Blacks were the third largest minority group with an estimated 7.6 percent of the 2011 population followed by those identified as from two or more races with 5.1 percent.
Hispanics, with 9 percent of the state population, surpassed American Indians, with 8.5 percent, as Oklahoma's largest minority group in 2010, three years after legislation targeting illegal immigrants became law.
"Maybe the illegal immigrant issue wasn't as big a problem as it was thought to be," OU political science professor Keith Gaddie said. "In the long term, it reflects a trend going on across the United States. You're going have a different looking workforce and a different looking electorate that is less white."
The Census Bureau estimated the white population in Oklahoma at 75.7 percent.