MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The latest U.S. Census estimates put Minnesota's population near the 5.5 million mark, and an expert says the number of minorities is growing four times as fast as whites.

The census figures from July 2014 show that the population has increased by nearly 3 percent since the 2010 census. The assistant director of the State Demographic Center says all race groups say growth within the past four years.

Minorities now account for more than 1 million of the state's residents, at almost 20 percent of the total population, with Hennepin and Ramsay counties among the most diverse.

Although the black population remains the largest minority group in the Twin Cities, Asians are the fastest-growing group in the area.

The state's population also is getting older, with a 19 percent increase in residents 65 and up.