In long-predicted shift, California Latinos outnumber whites

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In this June 14, 2015 photo, members of the Latino sketch comedy group Room 28, from left, April Hernandez, Jerry Diaz and Ariana Rodriguez, rehearse at their studio in New York. The actors in the group are preparing for their next performance June 26 and 27 at the Davenport Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
Members of the Latino sketch comedy group Room 28, from left, April Hernandez, Jerry Diaz and Ariana Rodriguez, rehearse at their studio in New York. Latinos now outnumber whites in California. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)

LOS ANGELES — The long-expected moment when Latinos surpass whites as California’s largest racial or ethnic group has come and gone.

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures released in late June, Hispanic Californians began to narrowly outnumber white Californians sometime in the first half of 2014.

As of July 1, 2014, the state had about 15 million Latinos to about 14.9 million non-Hispanic whites.

Demographers had expected the shift for decades as the state’s Hispanic population boomed due to immigration and birth rates. Many thought it would happen sooner than it did, but a slight decline in population pushed it to last year.

California joins New Mexico as the second state with a Latino plurality. Hawaii, with its large Asian population, is the third state where whites aren’t the largest ethnic group.

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