The Latina/o population in the United States has been increasing rapidly in the last four decades and is projected to reach 110.9 million or 28.6 percent of the U.S. population by 2060. As of 2017, Latina/os are the largest ethno-racial minority group in the U.S. This brief report provides a demographic profile of the Latina/o population for the 2010-2017 period using data from the U.S. Census Bureau population estimates and projections and American Community Surveys.
Latina/os became the largest ethno-racial minority group early in this century. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, population estimates as of July 1, 2017, the Latina/o population was estimated at 58.6 million persons, a number which corresponds to about 18.0 percent of the U.S. total population. By comparison, African Americans, formerly the largest ethno-racial minority population, represented 12.5 percent of the total population, Asians 5.6 percent, American Indians or Alaska Natives 0.7 percent, Native Hawaiians 0.2 percent, and two or more races 2.1 percent, respectively. The Non-Hispanic White population remains the majority population in the U.S. and is estimated at 60.8 percent. The Latina/o population is much younger than the White population. The median age for the Latina/o population is 28 years, whereas the median age for the Non-Hispanic White population is 43 years (2012-2016 ACS).
The Latina/o population is very diverse. About 66 percent of Latina/os are native born and 34 percent are foreign born. The majority of Latina/os are of Mexican origin, accounting for 63.6 percent. The remaining segments of the Latina/o population are originally from Puerto Rico (9.6%), Cuba (3.8%), Dominican Republic (3.2%), Central America countries (9.1%), South America (6.1%), and other countries (4.7%).
Latina/o Population Change
The Latina/o population is continuously reshaping the demographic composition of the U.S. population. Figure 1 displays July first estimates of the Latina/o population in the U.S. from 2010 to 2017. The Latina/o population increased from 50.8 million in 2010 to 58.6 million in 2017, reflecting a 15.5 percent increase. The Latina/o share of the U.S population increased from 16.4 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2017, reflecting a 9.8 percent increase.
Geographic Distribution and Concentration
In 2016, 43.3 million, or 75 percent, of Latina/os lived in nine states with Latina/o populations of one million or more (CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, AZ, NJ, CO, NM).
In California, Latina/os accounted for 15.3 million (27%) of the total population, in Texas 10.9 million (19%), Florida 5.1 million (9%), New York 3.7 million (7%), Illinois 2.2 million (4%), Arizona 2.1 million (4%), New Jersey 1.8 million (3%), Colorado 1.2 million (2%), and in New Mexico 1.0 million (2%). Latinos in New Mexico were highest, comprising about 49 percent of their state population. Latinos were 17.8 percent (national level) or more in eight states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, NJ, NM, NY, TX).
In 2016, Latina/os were the majority (more than 50 percent of the total population) in 99 out of 3142 counties. Most of those counties are in states bordering Mexico (TX, CA, NM, AZ). Latinos are also the majority in counties within Washington (Franklin and Adams), Colorado (Conejos and Costilla), Kansas (Seward and Ford), New York (Bronx), and Florida (Miami-Dade, Osceola, and Hendry).
Latina/os are the largest ethno-racial minority in the U.S. Latina/os are a younger population compared to Whites. About one third of the Latina/o population is foreign born. Latina/os are diverse; the majority being of Mexican origin. Between 2010 and 2017, the Latina/o share of the U.S. population increased by almost 10 percent. About 75% of the Latina/o population are concentrated in nine states (CA, TX, FL, NY, IL, AZ, NJ, CO, NM). Latinos are the majority in 99 out of 3142 counties and most of those counties are in states bordering Mexico