The U.S. census has released new data about the population of the United States between 2000 and 2003 and it shows dramatic growth among Hispanics and Asians and a steady stream of immigrants entering the country.

Hispanics, the largest minority group in the U.S. saw their numbers rise by 13 per cent between April 2000 and July 2003 to 39.9 million, according to Census Bureau figures released Monday.

Those numbers far outpaced the 3 per cent increase in the American population during the same time period.

Asians were the next-fastest-growing among the large minority groups, up 12.6 percent to 11.9 million, while the black population rose nearly 4 percent to 37 million.

The total population in the United States as of 2003 was 290.8 million. Roughly 40 million are Hispanic, with about one-third of that population under the age of 18.

Whites remain the single largest group in the United States, totalling 197 million, up one per cent between 2000 and 2003.

The population of African Americans in the United States also grew to 37 million.