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Hispanic Population and the 2010 U.S. Census

What information did the 2010 U.S. Census provide about the Hispanic population?

by Jennie Wood

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, of the 308.7 million people who lived in the U.S. on April 1, 2010, 50.5 million (16 percent) were Hispanic or Latino. That was an increase of 15.2 million for the Hispanic population since the 2000 Census. Furthermore, the numbers from 2010 showed that more than half of the total population growth in the U.S. from 2000 to 2010 was due to the Hispanic population increase. The total population in the U.S. grew ten percent over the decade, but the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent.

Growth within the Hispanic Population

Population growth varied within the Hispanic group. People of Mexican origin accounted for three-fourths of the increase in the Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010. They also had the largest numeric change, 11.2 million, as their population grew over the ten years from 20.6 million in 2000 to 31.8 million in 2010. Cubans increased 44 percent, increasing from 1.2 million to 1.8 million over the decade. Puerto Ricans increased from 3.4 million to 4.6 million, or 36 percent. Hispanics who marked "other" grew 22 percent, from 10.0 million in 2000 to 12.3 million in 2012.

Growth by Region

The Hispanic population grew in every region of the U.S., but the South and Midwest saw the greatest increase. In the South, the Hispanic population grew 57 percent over the decade, four times more than the region's total population. In the Midwest, the Hispanic population increased by 49 percent, more than twelve times the total population in that region. Even though it was at a slower rate, the Hispanic population did grow significantly in the West and Northeast. In the West, the Hispanic population grew by 34 percent, more than twice the region's total population. The Northeast saw the Hispanic population increase by 33 percent, ten times the growth of its total population. According to the 2010 Census, California had the biggest Hispanic population with 14.0 million. Texas was second with 9.5 million. Florida was third with 4.2 million.

White Births No Longer Majority

Also, according to Census data, white births were no longer in the majority in the United States. Over a 12-month period which ended in July 2011, Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, and mixed races made up 50.4 percent of all births, becoming a majority for the first time in the history of the United States. The Census data showed that the increasing number of Latin Americans immigrating to the U.S. accelerated the decline of the white birth majority. From 2000 to 2010, more Hispanic births were recorded in the U.S. than Hispanics moving into the country. With the Hispanic population at the median age of 27 in 2012, the trend was expected to continue increasing. With the shift in majority births, the U.S. passed a demographic milestone, moving away from a white baby boomer culture toward a more global, multi-ethnic country with the Hispanic population leading the way.

Source: United States Census Bureau


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