Visiting the North Carolina county I mainly grew up in, I was struck by how far-reaching the headlines of about population trends can be.
The signs were everywhere -- in Spanish -- in Asheboro, the county seat of Randolph County. Asheboro is a city south of Greensboro of about 25,000 residents in a large rural county of 138,400 people scattered across 788 square miles. (Census qucik facts)
It's not a "border" town or South Florida, but the Hispanic population is exploding.
The Hispanic population grew 394 percent in North Carolina between 1990 and 2000. Astounding? Not when you consider the Hispanic population growth rate was three times that in Randolph County. From 488 in 1980 and 734 in 1990 to 8,646 in 2000 and over 12,000 in 2005, Hispanics make up 9 percent of the county's residents.
Much of the influx is believed to in undocumented immigrants from Mexico, according to the (N.C) Governor's Hispanic and Latino Advisory Council.
The immigrants tend to be young and male and filled one out of every three new jobs created in North Carolina in the past decade. They are having a significant economic impact, says this study by the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute Of Private Enterprise at UNC.
That's gigantic change for communities where it seems nothing much ever changes.