A U.S. Census Bureau report says Hispanics represent the fastest-growing minority in the United States.

According to the report issued Thursday, Hispanics account for one-half of the overall U.S. population growth of 2.9 million between July 2003 and July 2004. It estimates there are 41 million Hispanics in the United States.

The growth rate among Hispanics for the 12 months starting in July 2003 was 3.6 percent, more than three times that of the total population. Asian growth rate was a close second.

Census Bureau officials say the growth surge is largely because of immigrants giving birth in this country. The bureau counts "Hispanics" or "Latino" as an ethnicity rather than a race, so Hispanics can be of any race.

Some information for this report provided by AP.