BOISE -- New census data show the growth in Idaho's Hispanic population is slowing.
Figures released by the Census Bureau Thursday indicate the state's Hispanic population increased by 2.1 percent between mid-2011 and mid-2012. That's the smallest growth rate since the federal government began tracking Hispanic population in 1981.
New population estimates peg Idaho's Hispanic population at 185,160 -- up just 3,800 from July 2011. Hispanics now account for 11.6 percent of the state's total population.
Growth in Idaho during the 12-month period mirrors increases on the national level -- estimated at 2.2 percent during the period.
State officials say the slowdown is reducing the gap in the proportion of Hispanics that are young. The census estimats show 44.2 percent of the population is under 20, down from 45.5 percent in 2010.