WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of Hispanics skyrocketed by roughly 58 percent over the last decade, drawing virtually even with non-Hispanic blacks as the nation's largest minority group, newly released government figures showed Monday.

The figures from the national headcount showed there were 35,305,818 Hispanics in 2000, slightly fewer than the 35,383,751 non-Hispanic blacks.

It further documented the changing complexion of America reflected in data released last week to several states.