At least one in five kindergarten students were Hispanic in 17 states, according to an analysis of 2012 census data by the Pew Research Center. That’s up significantly from 2000, when just eight states reached the same threshold for kindergarten enrollments.
Hispanics are the fastest growing immigrant group, now comprising about 17 percent of the population nationwide, according to the analysis, published Tuesday. Some of the states with the greatest increases in their young Hispanic population include Nebraska, Idaho, Washington, and New York.
Maryland, Virginia and the District did not register on the map below, though many school districts in the Washington region have seen an influx in Hispanic students in recent years.
A recent story in the Washington Post showed that the 2013-2014 kindergarten class in Fairfax County was the largest and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse classes in its history, thanks to a growing number of Hispanic students as well as students from other minority and immigrant groups. The shifts are posing challenges for the school system as it tries to meet their needs: 40 percent of the new students this year required additional English instruction.