The United States Census Bureau defines as those who indicate their origin to be Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American (e.g., Dominican, Nicaraguan, Colombian) or other Hispanic origin. This designation is made independently of racial classification. According to the 2002 U.S. Census, 13.3% of the U.S. population (or over 37 million Americans) identified themselves as being of Hispanic origin. This number exceeds the number of non-Hispanic blacks, or African Americans, in the United States, making Hispanics the largest minority subpopulation within the nation. The three major subgroups that make up the Hispanic population are Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans. By far the largest of these is the Mexican-American population, which represents at least twothirds of all Hispanics.