POSTED BY: Jim Ittenbach | March 31, 2011
By the Pew Hispanic Center
The 2010 Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, making up 16.3% of the total population. The nation’s Latino population, which was 35.3 million in 2000, grew 43% over the decade. The Hispanic population also accounted for most of the nation’s growth—56%—from 2000 to 2010.
Among children ages 17 and younger, there were 17.1 million Latinos, or 23.1% of this age group, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. The number of Latino children grew 39% over the decade. In 2000, there were 12.3 million Hispanic children, who were 17.1% of the population under age 18.
Although the numerical growth of the Hispanic population since 2000—more than 15 million—surpassed the totals for the previous two decades, the growth rate of 43% was somewhat slower than previous decades. Growth rates topped 50% in the 1980s (53%) and 1990s (58%).
Geographically, most Hispanics still live in nine states that have large, long-standing Latino communities—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York and Texas—but the share living in other states has been growing. In 2010, 76% of Latinos lived in these nine states, compared with 81% in 2000 and 86% in 1990. (In 2000, 50% of Hispanics lived in California and Texas alone. In 2010, that share was 46%.)
Despite the pattern of dispersion, however, there are more Latinos living in Los Angeles County (4.7 million) than in any state except California and Texas.
The states with the largest percent growth in their Hispanic populations include nine where the Latino population more than doubled, including a swath in the southeast United States—Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee and South Carolina. The Hispanic population also more than doubled in Maryland and South Dakota.
Access a PDF of the full report here.