Although most Americans can claim some European descent, people of Hispanic origin are the fastest-growing minority group in the United States.

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Many legal and illegal Hispanic immigrants, and many citizens of Hispanic descent, speak only Spanish.

The number of African Americans in the United States grew from 29 million to 33 million in that same time period.

European travelers observed the appetite for newspapers among ordinary American citizens and thought it a distinctive characteristic of the early Republic.

Notably, Alexis de Tocqueville devoted large sections of his Democracy in America (1857) to his amazement at the amount of information from newspapers available to a common rural farmer.

However, even this interest-driven increase was slowing as of the summer of 2002. Another 12 cities had competing newspapers published under joint operating agreements, an exemption to antitrust laws allowing two struggling newspapers to combine all operations outside their respective newsrooms. Of those cities, five—Tucson, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Seattle—had more than two competing daily newspapers, leaving 16 cities with only two competing newspapers.

The general trend of the United States press over most of the twentieth century was toward consolidation, chain or corporate ownership, and newspaper monopolies in most towns and cities. This number represents a massive decline from newspapers' height in the late nineteenth century, when nearly every rural town and county seat might have had two or three competing daily and weekly papers, and larger cities might have had up to 20 or 30 papers.

The decline in the number of newspapers and in circulation is thus a dispiriting trend for publishers.

In the last 30 years, the total number of newspapers has fallen from 1,748 to approximately 1,480.

Federal and state laws compel most government documents to be published in a variety of languages.

There are many non-English-language newspapers in the United States, published in a host of languages, but their quality and distribution vary widely, and their number has declined substantially since their height in the early 1900s.

Fierce competition from cable channels, network television, radio, and the Internet continues to cut into newspapers' market share and circulation.