Saturday, August 31, 2013
The nation’s Hispanic population, while still anchored in its traditional settlement areas, continues to disperse across the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
Today, the 100 largest counties by Hispanic population contain 71% of all Hispanics. Los Angeles County, CA alone contains 4.9 million Hispanics, or 9% of the nation’s Hispanic population. But the share of all Hispanics who live in these same counties has fallen from 75% in 2000 and 78% in 1990 (Fry, 2008), reflecting Hispanic population growth outside of these 100 counties. Half (52%) of those counties are in three states—California, Texas and Florida. Along with Arizona, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Illinois, these eight states contain three-quarters (74%) of the nation’s Latino population. But with the dispersal of the U.S. Latino population across the country, this share too is down from 79% in 2000 and 84% in 1990.
The geographic settlement patterns are to some degree aligned with the diverse countries of origin of the Hispanic population. For example, Mexican origin Hispanics are the dominant group in the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area, making up 78% of the area’s Hispanics. They are also the dominant group in many metropolitan areas in the border states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. But along the East Coast the composition of Hispanic origin groups differs. In the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are the dominant Hispanic origin groups. In Miami-Hialeah, FL, Cubans are the dominant Hispanic group and in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas, Salvadorans are the largest Hispanic origin group among that area’s Hispanics. Nationally, Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group, making up 64.6% of all Hispanics.