Friday, December 19, 2008

Economy is not driving Hispanics from Oklahoma

The headlines say “Economy may force immigrants back to Mexico.” But that’s not happening in Oklahoma.

Rogers is one of six counties in the state where the Hispanic population has nearly doubled since 2000. The county is booming. In the past seven years, its population increased by 17 percent to 83,105.

Hispanics account for 1,290 new residents, doubling the previous number, and now account for 3 percent of the county population. Hispanics account for more than half of the overall population growth in the U.S. since 2000.

Since 2000, Oklahoma County's population has increased by 6 percent to 701,807 from 660,448. The Hispanic population in Oklahoma County grew by 50 percent to 86,033 last year. That means roughly one in eight county residents is Hispanic.

Areas in northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Oklahoma and the Panhandle have seen the most growth. Combined, Rogers, Wagoner and Tulsa counties have seen their Hispanic population increase by 23,798.

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