Harris County Leads Nation in Minority Population Increase

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HOUSTON (AP) - The ethnic makeup of the Houston area is changing faster than anywhere else in the United States.

The Census Bureau today reports the change is fueled by an influx of Hurricane Katrina evacuees and a booming Hispanic population.

Katrina slammed the Gulf coast last August, sending several hundred thousand Louisiana evacuees to Texas.

Harris County, which includes Houston, gained 121,400 minority residents between 2005 and 2006.

Census officials say that's the largest increase in the nation.

Harris and Miami-Dade County, Florida, with 1.5 million Hispanics, are tied for second place behind Los Angeles.

Rice University sociologist Stephen Klineberg says no other city in history has been changed as rapidly in its ethnic composition as Houston.