Mapping the Latino Population, By State, County and City

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This report examines U.S. Hispanic population rankings in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the nation’s more than 3,000 counties, and the 60 largest Hispanic metropolitan areas.

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.

More than half (55%) of the U.S. Hispanic population resides in three states: California, Texas, and Florida.

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.

Nationally, Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group, making up 64.6% of all Hispanics (Lopez, Gonzalez-Barrera, Cuddington, 2013).

Latinos are the nation’s largest minority group and among its fastest growing populations. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2013), the Latino population in 2012 was 53 million, making up 17% of the U.S. population.1 Latino population growth between 2000 and 2010 accounted for more than half of the nation’s population growth (Passel, Cohn and Lopez, 2011).

Texas is also home to three of the 10 largest Hispanic metropolitan areas— Houston-Brazoria (#3), Dallas-Fort Worth (#6) and San Antonio (#10)

Latino/hispanic majority areas in TX: Among the 60 metropolitan areas with the largest Latino populations, two have populations that are almost entirely Latino. The population of Laredo, TX, metropolitan area—with the 37th largest Latino population—is 95% Latino. The McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr-Mission, TX, metropolitan area—which has the 13th largest Hispanic population—is 91% Latino.

Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group in 49 of the top 60 metro areas, and they account for 95% or more of the Hispanic population in eight metro areas in the top 60. The Mexican share is highest in McAllen, TX, where they account for nearly all (98%) of the area’s Hispanics.

The other seven metro areas where the Hispanic population is 95% or more Mexican origin are: Yuma, AZ (98%); Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito, TX (97%); Las Cruces, NM (96%); El Paso, TX (96%); Visalia-Tulare-Porterville, CA (95%); Odessa, TX (95%); Laredo, TX (95%).

From 2000-2011

Compared with the Hispanic growth, these top 60 metro areas experienced more modest overall population changes in the same time period, from a high of a 43% increase among three areas (Fort Myers, FL, Las Vegas, NV, and Austin, TX)

  • Austin: is ranked as the 20th largest area by hispanic population

524.000 hispanics 31% hispanic share of the population 26 years old Media age among hispanics 28% foreign born among hispanics 76% citizens among hispanics mexican is largest hispanic origin group

Hispanic origin is based on self-described family ancestry or place of birth in response to a question on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Ancestry is not necessarily the same as the place of birth of the respondent, nor is it indicative of immigrant or citizenship status. For example a U.S. citizen born in Los Angeles of Mexican immigrant parents or grandparents may (or may not) identify his or her Hispanic origin as Mexico. Likewise, some immigrants born in Mexico may identify another country as their origin depending on the place of birth of their ancestors. ↩

The terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.

“Native born” refers to persons who are U.S. citizens at birth, including those born in the United States, Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories and those born abroad to parents at least one of whom was a U.S. citizen.

“Foreign born” refers to persons born outside of the United States, Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories to parents neither of whom was a U.S. citizen.