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The most Latino state in the nation? It's still New Mexico.

Latino pride runs deep in a region where the Spanish arrived in the late 1500s — before English settlers — and Mexico governed for decades during the 19th century.
A man holds a Spanish-language sign, "Your vote is your voice," during the midterm elections in Santa Fe, N.M., on  Nov. 6, 2018.
A man holds a Spanish-language sign, "Your vote is your voice," during the midterm elections in Santa Fe, N.M., on Nov. 6, 2018.Mati Milstein / NurPhoto via Getty Images file

SANTA FE — New Mexico has retained its title as the nation’s most heavily Hispanic state, with 47.7 percent of respondents to the 2020 census identifying ancestry linked to Latin America and other Spanish-speaking areas.

The Census Bureau on Thursday released new demographic details culled from the census.

California and Texas were close runners up, with about 39 percent of residents claiming Latino or Hispanic heritage. Nearly 31 percent of Arizona residents describe themselves as Hispanic.

In New Mexico, Latino pride runs deep within a region of the U.S. where Spanish conquerors arrived in the late 1500s and Mexico governed for decades during the 19th century.

The new numbers on ethnicity and race have implications for the political redistricting process as states redraw congressional and legislative districts later this year with an eye toward preserving communities of common interest. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits plans that intentionally or inadvertently discriminate on the basis of race by diluting the minority vote.

The share of New Mexico resident who identify themselves as Indigenous by race or by combined ancestry was 12.4 percent. Alaska was the most predominantly Native American state, followed by Oklahoma and then New Mexico.

Dancers from Zuni Pueblo, N.M., perform the White Buffalo Dance during summer solstice celebrations in the plaza of Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, N.M. on June 21, 2001. The event marked the first time in over 900 years that Puebloan dancers danced in the plaza of the Ancestral Puebloan ruin. Marc F. Henning / The Daily Times via AP

An earlier set of data released in April showed New Mexico’s population grew by 2.8 percent over the past decade, making it one of the slowest growing states in the U.S. West, adding about 58,000 residents to a population over just over 2.1 million.

In the West, only Wyoming had a slower growth rate. The U.S. had 331 million residents last year, a 7.4% increase from 2010.

New Mexico has convened a Citizen Redistricting Committee led by former state Supreme Court Justice Edward Chávez.

The committee is holding public input meetings across the state as it drafts proposed district maps. Those will be delivered to the Legislature, which meets later this year to send a redistricting plan to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for consideration.

Lawmakers adopt the recommendations or devise their own plan.

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