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Latino Daily News

Thursday February 17, 2011

Hispanics, Not Native Americans Now the Largest Population in Oklahoma

Hispanics, Not Native Americans Now the Largest Population in Oklahoma

Photo: Oklahoma

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Though Native Americans have a long tradition of being the largest population in Oklahoma, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics now carry that title.

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of Hispanics in Oklahoma has almost doubled from 179,304 to 332,007, and they are now about nine percent of the state’s total population. Native Americans now account for about 8.5 percent.

Those the Hispanic population has risen about that of Native Americans, Oklahoma is still likely the holders of the largest per capita Native American population in America.

And while the Hispanic population has increased about 85 percent, the number of people in the overall population who solely indentify as Native American rose from 7.9 percent in 2000 to 8.5 percent in 2010, and around 12 percent of people in Oklahoma claim some kind of Native American ancestry.

It is believed that the increase in the Hispanic population will allow for state lawmakers to draw new legislative voting districts with Hispanic majorities though there may be staunch opposition from anti-illegal immigration legislators.

“There will be, I’m sure, some,” said Rep. Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, chairman of the Oklahoma’s House’s Redistricting Committee. “But at the end of the day, we’ll do this thing as fair as we possibly can. If we don’t do it fair, the thing will end up in court.”