When United States Census data gets released once a decade, it mostly just confirms what we know by looking around us, eyes wide open.

That doesn't mean that the numbers themselves and the analysis of what they mean aren't fascinating windows into our America.

The headline this time around had to be, and indeed was, the Latinoization of the U.S.

That was big news after the 2000 Census as well. But 10 years ago, the preponderance here of people with roots in Latin America was more confined to the parts of our country that were once part of Latin America themselves: California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida.

Those states have not only lots of people with genetic roots in Mexico and Central and South America and Spain - we have political roots in the Spanish colonies of the New World as well.

Sure, a decade ago a big Census story was the new spread of some Hispanic families to not only urban areas such as Chicago, but to formerly essentially white and black Southern states such as Arkansas and Alabama, in search of employment.

That's old news now - old as the 1960s California in which it was impossible to even find tortillas in Bay Area supermarkets.

The news out of the 2010 Census is that:

Latinos just surged past African Americans as the second-largest ethnic group in New Jersey, of all places.

Ten states have populations in which more than half the children are minorities, including California, Mississippi, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, New Mexico and Hawaii.

Minority is still a useful term, so far as it goes - for all the demographic changes, non-Hispanic whites make up 64 percent of the U.S. population at about 196 million of the 310 million Americans. But that's down from 69 percent 10 years ago.

New York City lost black residents for the first time since Reconstruction - to the suburbs and, obviously ironically, to the old South. Why? Economic opportunity knocked. Manufacturing jobs barely exist in the city that was home to the Harlem Renaissance. And real estate is sky high.

The multi-racial population is up all around the country, though the numbers are still small - partially because it's a Census option, with many African Americans, including President Obama, still checking "black" when given the choice. But among children, the multiracial population increased almost 50 percent over the last 10 years, to 4.2 million. That makes kids of mixed race the fastest-growing group of youth.

Detroit, poster child for the Rust Belt economic and social meltdown, saw its population plunge by 25 percent.

That California is increasingly Hispanic as well - that's true, though it's not news. Our state's Latino population grew by 27.8 percent over the decade. Just over 40 percent of Californians are white, and 37.6 percent Latino, numbers that in another 10 years will likely have equaled out.

The real news is that the fastest-growing group of Californians is Asians, up 31 percent since 2000, now 12.8 percent of Californians.

That, and that essentially all population growth is inland. The counties of San Joaquin, Kern, Riverside and Tulare were the fastest-growing big ones in the state. The slowest-growing were the coastal counties of San Francisco, Monterey, San Mateo and Los Angeles.

What's are we coming to? Probably to a time, say around the Census of 2110, when everyone in the country can check "mixed" on their forms, and we have truly become an American race