January 24, 2014

In 2014, Latinos will surpass whites as largest racial/ethnic group in California

FT_14.01.24_Latino_population_200pxAccording to California Governor Jerry Brown’s new state budget, Latinos are projected to become the largest single racial/ethnic group in the state by March of this year, making up 39% of the state’s population. That will make California only the second state, behind New Mexico, where whites are not the majority and Latinos are the plurality, meaning they are not more than half but they comprise the largest percentage of any group.

California’s demographers also project that in mid-2014, the state’s residents will be 38.8% white non-Hispanic, 13% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 5.8% black non-Hispanic, and less than 1% Native American. But the state’s demographics in 2014 are very different from what they had been. In 2000, California’s 33.9 million residents were 46.6% white non-Hispanic, 32.3% Latino, 11.1% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 6.4% black non-Hispanic and about 1% Native American. In 1990, white non-Hispanics made up more than half (57.4%) of the state’s then 29.7 million residents, while 25.4% of Californians were Latino, 9.2% were Asian American or Pacific Islander, 7.1% were black non-Hispanic and about 1% were Native American.

This 2014 demographic milestone will arrive about eight months later than the state originally expected. Last year, California’s Department of Finance demographers projected that the Latino population would match the non-Hispanic white population in size by mid-2013.

But as birth rates among Hispanics have slowed (as they have nationally for Latinos and the overall U. S. population with the recession), the state this month readjusted its projection to March 2014. When this milestone occurs, it will mark the first time since California became a state in 1850 that Latinos are the Golden State’s single largest racial or ethnic group. 

With more than 14 million Hispanic residents, California has the nation’s largest Hispanic population. But only in California and New Mexico will Hispanics be the largest racial or ethnic population (in New Mexico, Hispanics make up 47% of the state’s population).

Texas may be next. According to Pew Research Center tabulations from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, in 2012 there were 10 million Latinos and 11.6 million non-Hispanic whites living in Texas, making up 38.2% and 44.4%, respectively, of the state’s 26.1 million residents. By contrast, in 2000, Latinos made up 31.9% and white non-Hispanics made up 52.4% of the state’s 20.8 million residents. These numbers indicate the Hispanic population is growing more quickly than the non-Hispanic white population—since 2000 Hispanics have made up 63.5% of the Lone Star state’s population growth.

After Texas, though, it’s unlikely any other state will follow any time soon. Florida’s 4.5 million Hispanics—the third largest Hispanic state population—make up just 23.2% of all Floridians, while white non-Hispanics make up 56.8%. In Arizona, Hispanics make up 30.2% of the state’s population, and non-Hispanic whites make up 56.9%. And in Nevada, the state’s 753,000 Hispanics make up 27.3% of the state’s population compared with white non-Hispanics’ 52.8%.

What’s the only other state where non-Hispanic whites are not the largest racial or ethnic group?  Hawaii. The Rainbow state is the only state in which Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders are the largest racial/ethnic group. Of the state’s 1.4 million residents, just 22.8% are non-Hispanic white, but nearly half (46.1%) are Asian American or Pacific Islander.

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics

  1. Photo of Mark Hugo Lopez

    is Director of Hispanic Research, Pew Research Center.

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  1. Kelly Titus3 days ago

    The reason for the Hispanic population jump is because the census does not require legal documentation for their count to be valid. The illegal individuals from a foreign country are given all that I have worked my whole life to build for free. Welfare,Wic,Food stamps…Yes FOOD STAMPS, Cal Fresh really?,section 8 compensation to supplement rent, Free health insurance, free breakfast and lunch in school, an incentive to have children they can’t afford as free benifits increase. The Democrats have to pay people to get votes with freebies as they have no logical ideas ,everything is a giveaway. This has become such a huge problem that the republicans have to subvert their own platform and bow to the ever increasing minority and ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FELONS . When the money runs out,and it will. inner city riots will ensue because some families have been on the freebie train for generations and think they entitled and everything should be free… The tipping point is just around the corner.

  2. Paul Martel Neuhausen2 weeks ago

    I am a native Los Angeleno, my Naturalized U.S. Citizen wife is from Peru and our daughter is now a 5th generation Californian. My Spanish is good and my wife has helped me to improve it with her Castellano-influenced New World dialect. We eat mainly beans, rice, vegetables at home (and break down for Pizza sometimes. My European background was mainly Black Irish and L.A. is a lot like Spain so in some I am really Hispanic now.

  3. Pepemagno2 months ago

    It is only only logical that the so-called “White” culture, or “Anglo” culture will eventually disappear in America and in Texas. Why? It is obvious: all cultures that exclude vanish, while all cultures that include grow. Now, the cultural term “White” or “Anglo” excludes any not considered “Anglo”, thus excluding those considered Black, Mulatto, Indian, Asian, Hispanic, etc. In contrast, the cultural tern “Hispanic” includes anyone deemed Hispanic by culture, ancestry or even just the family name, whether they are White, Black, Mulatto, Mestizo, or whatever. It is only a logical result.

    1. Mark Pugner1 week ago

      I didn’t realize this was a competition. If domination is your goal, there are 1.3 billion Chinese and 1.2 billion Indians who couldn’t care less about this “milestone”.

    2. Calo Chicano1 week ago

      “Anglo” culture or the English language will never vanish in America or in the world. There are 1.2 billion Indians and in the next 10 years or so, India will have the largest population. What’s the language that unites India? ENGLISH!! The USA has a large and successful Indian population and that population is bound to grow. Most Blacks and

  4. Guirao2 months ago

    As an Ethnic group yes. Hispanic has surpassed Whites in California, but racially no. There are Hispanics of entirely European Origins

    1. Mexican American2 months ago

      Most Latinos are of Native American and European descent. Mexicans, of which make up 66% of the American-Hispanic populace are overwhelmingly Mestizo, with a significant minority of purely Native American people, and a very small minority of purely European descendants. Whites only predominate in Argentina and Cuba.

      1. Calo Chicano1 week ago

        Yet, when I watch television programs from Latin America, such as “telenovelas,” most of the people I see look very “white” or “European.”