A new U.S. Census Bureau report says Hispanics accounted for almost half of the population growth in the U.S. last year, and most of those new residents were born in the United States instead of Latin America.
The report suggests the Hispanic population boom would continue for at least a generation, even if immigration stopped.
Meanwhile, the portion of the population descended from Europeans is both shrinking and getting older.
Analysts say the shift in age and ethnic make up could cause increased social strains.
The United States is currently embroiled in a debate about regulating illegal immigration. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have rallied across the country in recent weeks to demand more rights for illegal immigrants and to generally emphasize the importance of immigrants to the nation's economy and culture.