Pew Hispanic Center
by Jeffrey S. Passel, Senior Demographer, Pew Hispanic Center, and D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer, Pew Research Center
Updated March 30, 2011, to include Census 2010 results from all states and the District of Columbia. This replaces a March 15, 2011 report that included results from 33 states.
The number of Hispanics counted in the 2010 Census was nearly 1 million more than expected, based on the most recent Census Bureau population estimates, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.
The 2010 Census count of Hispanics was 50,478,000, compared with 49,522,000 Hispanics in the bureau’s own estimates. The count was 1.9% higher (955,000 people) than the estimated population. In 32 states, the 2010 Census count of Hispanics was at least 2% higher than the estimates; in nine states, it was at least 2% lower than the estimates. In the nine remaining states and the District of Columbia, the difference was less than 2% in either direction.
By comparison, for the total U.S. population, the 2010 Census count of 308.7 million was barely lower (about 232,000 people) than the bureau’s population estimate for April 1, 2010. Compared with results a decade ago, the national Hispanic count in the 2010 Census was closer to bureau estimates than it was in 2000. The 2000 Census count included 10% more Hispanics than the population estimates, and state-level discrepancies also were larger than in 2010.
Unlike the decennial Census, designed to be a 100% count of the U.S. population, the Census Bureau’s population estimates are annual updates of counts from the previous census based largely on birth certificates, death certificates, immigration data and other government records. The most recent published state population estimates for Hispanics were as of July 1, 2009. For this analysis, the Hispanic estimates were updated to Census Day, April 1, 2010, by extrapolating the 2009 estimates based on each state’s Hispanic population growth rate from 2008 to 2009.
The Pew Hispanic Center analysis indicates that states with large percentage differences between their Hispanic census counts and census estimates also were likely to have large percentage differences between census counts and census estimates for their total populations. This reflects the large role that Hispanics play in overall population growth. Hispanics have accounted for most of the discrepancy between 2010 Census counts and census estimates of states’ total populations.
In addition, according to the Pew Hispanic Center analysis, states that have Hispanic populations under a million people (including many where Hispanic counts grew sharply) collectively had a larger percentage gap between their census counts and census estimates than did the nine states with larger, long-duration Hispanic communities.