Hispanics Account for 56% of Nation’s Growth in Past Decade

Pew Hispanic Center

Census 2010: 50 Million Hispanics

The 2010 Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics in the United Sates, making up 16.3% of the total population. The nation’s Hispanic population, which was 35.3 million in 2000, grew 46.3% over the decade, and even more sharply in many Southeastern states. Overall, growth in the Hispanic population 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, representing 23.1% of this age group, up from 17.1% in 2000. The Pew Hispanic Center analysis includes counts, growth rates, and rankings for the Hispanic population in each state.

Updated 3.30.2011
How Many Hispanics? Comparing New Census Counts with the Latest Census Estimates


For the first time since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, native-born workers in the second half of 2010 joined foreign-born workers in experiencing the beginnings of a recovery in employment, according to a new Pew Hispanic Center analysis of Census data. These findings were presented in testimony that Rakesh Kochhar, associate director for research, gave to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement on March 10, 2011.

Written testimony of Rakesh Kochhar to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement

An earlier Pew Hispanic report—released in October 2010—examined trends in employment among the native born and foreign born during the Great Recession and the first year of recovery.


The Pew Hispanic Center has updated its statistical profiles of the Hispanic and foreign-born populations in the U.S. with data from the Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey, the most recent available. In 2009, Hispanics accounted for 15.7% of the U.S. population and 47.0% of immigrants in the U.S. Among the foreign born, 29.9% were born in Mexico, South and East Asia followed with 24.1% and the remainder of Latin America accounted for 23.3%. Some 44% of all immigrants and 29% of Latino immigrant are naturalized citizens.

Latinos are less likely than whites to access the internet, have a home broadband connection or own a cell phone, according to survey findings from the Pew Hispanic Center. Compared with blacks, Latinos lag in home broadband access but have similar rates of internet and cell phone use. When it comes to the use of cell phone non-voice applications such as accessing the internet, emailing, texting, and instant messaging, usage rates are similar among Latino, white and black cell phone owners. While Latinos are just as likely as whites to access the internet from a cell phone, Latinos are more likely to do so in lieu of a home internet connection.

There were 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in March 2010, virtually unchanged from a year earlier, according to new estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center. The number of unauthorized immigrants in the workforce, 8 million, also did not differ from 2009. Both the population and workforce estimates are below their 2007 peaks, apparently driven by a decline in the number of Mexicans, the largest group of unauthorized immigrants. The report also includes estimates of state populations of unauthorized immigrants and of annual births to unauthorized immigrants.

Hispanic voters are nearly three times more prevalent in states that gained congressional seats and Electoral College votes in the 2010 reapportionment than they are in states that lost seats, according to an analysis of Census data by the Pew Hispanic Center. With these reapportionment changes, Latinos likely will play a larger role in national politics in the coming decade. Two states that gained Electoral College votes, Florida and Nevada, have been key swing battlegrounds in recent presidential elections. In both states, Latinos are a growing share of eligible voters.

By their own reckoning, Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader. When asked in an open-ended question on a nationwide survey of Latinos to name the person they consider “the most important Latino leader in the country today,” nearly
two-thirds (64%) of Hispanics said they did not know. An additional 10% said “no one.” The survey also explored the subject of leadership in another way. Survey respondents were presented with the names of eight prominent Hispanics and asked if they had heard of each. Those who said they had were then asked if they considered that person to be a leader. Of the eight prominent Hispanics tested in the survey, four were identified as leaders by between 20% and 50% of survey respondents. The other four were seen as leaders by fewer respondents.

Updated December 30, 2010
Tuesday’s midterm elections were historic for Hispanics. For the first time ever, three Latino candidates—all of them Republicans—won top statewide offices. In New Mexico, voters elected the nation’s first Latina governor, Republican Susana Martinez. In Nevada, Republican Brian Sandoval won the governor’s race and became Nevada’s first Hispanic governor. And in Florida, Republican Marco Rubio won the U.S. Senate race. Despite these big top-of-the-ticket wins for Republican Hispanic candidates, Democratic candidates won the Latino vote, often by wide margins.

Election 2010 State Fact Sheets

Interactive Graphic: Mapping the Latino Electorate: Latino Eligible Voters by State and Congressional District

Latinos and the 2010 Election: Strong Support for Democrats; Weak Voter Motivation


The national political backlash against illegal immigration has created new divisions among Latinos and heightened their concerns about discrimination against members of their ethnic group-including those who were born in the United States or who immigrated legally. A small majority says unauthorized immigrants should pay a fine but not be deported, while small minority says they should be deported and a larger minority says they should not be punished. Hispanics are also divided about the impact of illegal immigration on Hispanics already living in the U.S. Some 29% say the impact has been positive, down from 50% who said the same in 2007. Despite rising concerns about discrimination against Latinos, the survey finds no increase in the share who say they or a family member has been a victim of ethnic bias.

Native-born Latinos are more likely than their foreign-born counterparts to go online and to use cell phones, according to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center. A second new Center report finds that among Latinos ages 16 to 25, the native born are more likely than the foreign born to use mobile technology to communicate daily with their friends.

The Latino Digital Divide: The Native Born versus the Foreign Born

How Young Latinos Communicate with Friends in the Digital Age


Just one-in-ten Hispanic high school drop-outs has a General Educational Development (GED) credential, widely regarded as the best “second chance” pathway to college, vocational training and military service for adults who do not graduate high school. By contrast, two-in-ten black high school drop-outs and three-in-ten white high school drop-outs has a GED. Hispanics have a much higher high school drop-out rate than do blacks or whites. Some 41% of Hispanic adults age 20 and older in the United States do not have a regular high school diploma, compared with 23% of black adults and 14% of white adults. The report also examines the labor force outcomes (including employment rates and median earnings) of Hispanic high school dropouts, GED recipients and high school graduates.

More Americans believe that Hispanics are the targets of a lot of discrimination in American society than say the same about any other major racial or ethnic group, according to a Pew Research Center survey taken prior to the recent enactment of an immigration enforcement law by the state of Arizona. These findings from the Pew Research Center’s November 2009 survey are included in a new Pew Hispanic Center fact sheet that covers a range of issues, attitudes and trends related to the new Arizona measure and its potential impact on the Latino community and on the enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws.

Country of Origin Profiles of U.S. Hispanics
Nearly two-thirds of Hispanics in the U.S. self-identify as being of Mexican origin. Nine of the other ten largest Hispanic origin groups—Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan, Colombian, Honduran, Ecuadorian and Peruvian—account for about a quarter of the U.S. Hispanic population. There are differences across these ten population groups in the share of each that is foreign born, citizen (by birth or naturalization), and proficient in English. They are also of varying age, tend to live in different areas within the U.S, and have varying levels of education, homeownership rates, and poverty rates. These and other characteristics are explored in ten fact sheets, one for each country-of-origin group, as well as an interactive graphic. Each population is also compared with all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall.

A new nationwide survey of Latinos finds that foreign-born Latinos are more positive and knowledgeable about the 2010 Census than are native-born Latinos. While majorities of both groups say that the census is good for the Hispanic community, the foreign born are significantly more likely to feel this way. The foreign born are also more likely to correctly say that the census cannot be used to determine who is in the country legally; more likely to trust the Census Bureau to keep their personal information confidential; and more likely to say they have seen or heard messages encouraging them to participate in the census.