The economic recession, coupled with a crackdown on illegal immigration, have unexpectedly slowed down the growth of the Hispanic and Asian populations, according to census data released today. This has pushed back the government's estimates on when minorities will become the majority by as much as a decade. The nation's overall minority population, however, continues to rise steadily, increasing 2.3 percent in 2008 to 104.6 million, or 34 percent of the total population, but when the actual tipping point will occur is now in question. The Census Bureau had projected in August that white children would become the minority in 2023 and the overall white population would follow in 2042. The data released today also shows that Hispanics are increasingly choosing to stay in gateway states such as California, further slowing the growth of that population in emerging immigrant areas in the Southeast, such as Arkansas, Tennessee, and Georgia.