Study: Latinos continue to grow, Mexicans continue to dominate

Latinos continue to grow as a population in the U.S., Mexican Americans in particular continue to dominate this group, but growth is moving beyond traditional states like California and Texas into new ones like South Carolina and Kentucky.

Elaine Rita Mendus | February 18, 2013 | 11:48 pm
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A massive amount of data from the Pew Research Hispanic Center has been released for statistic junkies, dataphiles and anyone else to analyze. In this multi-article series, Más Wired takes a look at the Pew Center’s data and pulls out some of the more interesting bits.

A Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States” contains a variety of statistics about the Hispanic population. Más Wired has taken the time to examine and analyze the statistics released, as well as mull over the meaning and repercussions of this data. In the first of this three-part series, we will be looking at population trends among Hispanics.

First and foremost, Hispanics continue along a path of rapid growth. Given the hype about the “Latino vote,” this should be no surprise. The Hispanic population in the U.S. has jumped 48% in a decade, from 35 million to touching 52 million.

Given the broad definition of Hispanic, it should be no surprise that there is an outlier population: Mexicans. 33.5 million of the Hispanics in the U.S. are from Mexico — this is more than the entire Hispanic population in the U.S. during the 2000 census. Mexicans make up a whopping 65% of the population, with others (anyone not from Puerto Rico, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, or Cuba) comprising a tiny 8.1 million. Puerto Ricans come in at 4.9 million, and Cubans barely touch 2 million.

The Pew data helps dispel the myth of all of these Hispanics being immigrants or being here without documentation. Despite the immigration hype among the media, the immigrant population of Latinos is dropping.

The immigrant population is not only being outpaced by the native born population, it is also declining. In fact, the immigrant population never rose about the native born population. This points to multiple trends, including the fact that something is bringing immigration down to pre-2000 levels.

The top states with Hispanic residents are:

  1. California
  2. Texas
  3. Florida
  4. New York
  5. Illinois

The first two shouldn’t shock anybody. These are the largest concentration of Hispanics in the U.S., their location near and on the border respectfully make them convenient, as well as the fact that they have strong communities generally dominated by Mexican culture. About 47% of the Latino population lives between these two states.

Florida is also not a surprise. It has been the port of entry for many Cubans, one of the notable demographics of Latinos in the U.S., as well as the fact that it is the United States’ southernmost extension into the Caribbean. New York in fourth is not a shock, either. It is a center of Puerto Rican diaspora. Illinois is an interesting fifth, hosting 4% of the country’s Hispanic population.

However, these aren’t the states with the largest growth rate for Latinos. South Carolina is host to the fastest growing population of Hispanics, its small population of 241,000 Hispanics has grown by 154% since the 2000 Census. Kentucky, Arkansas, Minnesota, and North Carolina follow South Carolina, the bottom two in a tie for 120% growth of their Hispanic population.

Then, there are births.

Out of all of the race categories in the Census, nearly a quarter were Hispanic, 54% of the births were white, and 14% black. There is a bad side to this data, though; 47% of these births were to unmarried women, suggesting that nearly half of the Hispanics born will be raised in single parent households, where income will likely lower.

This does not bode well for education or pulling the population out of poverty (something we look at in part two). To keep size in focus when looking at the number of Hispanic children born to single parent households, a comparison. The number of Hispanic children born in these househols almost equals the entire black population born last year.

Part two of our examination of the Pew Center data will explore economics and education data among the Hispanic population.

About Elaine Rita Mendus (50 Posts)

Elaine Rita Mendus is a undergraduate student working on graduating college (someday soon). Her career interests include geopolitics, the Hispanic community, and urban planning. She really wouldn't mind ending up a scriptwriter though...


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3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Pew Hispanic Center recently released data on the Latino population in the U.S. The first of Más Wired’s look at the Pew Center’s massive data release, we focused on population data and other demographics. Now we are going to look at education and […]

  2. […] that the Hispanic population present to the U.S. economy. We strongly encourage reading the linked part one and part two of this series of articles for additional […]

  3. […] This post originally appeared in Más Wired. […]


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