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Where Hispanics Live

Over half reside in just three states
  • February 17 2012

If you look at population of Hispanic-Americans by where in the country they live, you’d start by saying they’re settled in the West and South. Then you’d notice they’re really in just three states—California, Texas and Florida. And when you dive in further, you’d find that California is really the center of the Hispanic population. Still there are pockets of growth across the country.

According to 2010 Census data, three quarters of the Hispanic population lives in the West (41 percent) and South (36 percent). In fact, Hispanics accounted for 29 percent of the population in the West.

The Hispanic population grew in every region between 2000 and 2010, and most significantly in the South and Midwest. The South experienced a growth of 57 percent in its Hispanic population, which was four times the growth of the total population in the South (14 percent). Significant growth also occurred in the Midwest, with the Hispanic population increasing by 49 percent. This was more than twelve times the growth of the total population in the Midwest (4 percent).

Among Hispanic groups with a population of one million or more in 2010, three of the largest Central American groups were concentrated in the West. About two-fifths of people with origins from Guatemala and El Salvador (38 percent and 40 percent, respectively) and half with Mexican origin (52 percent) resided in the West.

The largest Caribbean Hispanic groups, however, were concentrated in different regions of the United States. Cubans were much more likely to live in the South (mostly Florida) and Dominicans and Puerto Ricans were more likely to live in the Northeast (mostly New York).

Over half of the Hispanic population in the U.S. resided in just three states: California, Texas, and Florida. In fact, Hispanics in California accounted for 28 percent of the total Hispanic population. Hispanics in New Mexico were 46 percent of the total state population, the highest proportion for any state.

The city with the largest Hispanic population in 2010 was New York with 2.3 million, followed by Los Angeles at 1.8 million. Between 500,000 and 1 million Hispanics resided in Houston, San Antonio, Chicago, Phoenix, El Paso, and Dallas.

Still, the number of Hispanics grew across the country. Of the 3,143 counties in the United States, Hispanics doubled or more in population size in 912 counties. Among the counties with at least 10,000 or more Hispanics in 2010 (469 counties), the top five fastest growing counties were Luzerne, Pennsylvania (479 percent change); Henry, Georgia (339 percent change); Kendall, Illinois (338 percent change); Douglas, Georgia (321 percent change); and Shelby, Alabama (297 percent change).


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