February 26, 2014

The U.S. Hispanic population has increased sixfold since 1970


The U.S. Hispanic population in 2012 was 53,027,708, nearly six times the population in 1970.

The Hispanic population grew to 53 million in 2012, a 50% increase since 2000 and nearly six times the population in 1970, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, the overall U.S. population increased by only 12% from 2000 to 2012. Hispanic population growth accounted for more than half of the country’s growth in this time period.

U.S. Hispanic Population in 2012Much of the growth is occurring in a relatively small geographic area. A Pew Research Center analysis last year found that the 10 largest counties by Hispanic population accounted for 22% of the national Hispanic population growth between 2000 and 2011. Half of these counties are located in California.

Nationally, Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group but the composition of origin groups varies by geographic area. For example, while Mexicans represent a majority of Hispanics in all but 11 states, Puerto Ricans are the largest group in New York and New Jersey and Cubans are most populous in Florida.

The demographics of each origin group vary significantly. For example, Hispanics of Mexican origin are the youngest out of the 14 largest origin groups, with a median age of 25, compared with Cubans’  median age of 40. Venezuelans are the most likely to have a college degree (51%), compared with 7% of both Guatemalans and Salvadorans.

Category: Daily Number

Topics: Hispanic/Latino Demographics

  1. Photo of Anna Brown

    is a research analyst focusing on social and demographic trends at Pew Research Center.


  1. Dean2 years ago

    All this rapid change/growth is due to dr Martin Luther king and the civil rights fight of black Americans in the 1950’s & 60’s. As a direct response to the blacks fight for rights, respect and equality those in charge of business and in positions of leadership in politics seeked out people (very much as with the slave trade) who would work for cheaper lower wages and in so doing change the culture and direction of the US forever.

  2. Mario Moya2 years ago

    Hello Ms. Brown,

    Where can I find the breakdown of the Hispanic Population by country of origin? Overall, the actual diversity in the Hispanic population is significant and a more accurate analysis should include White/Caucasian Hispanic as well as Nonwhite Hispanic. I’m a physician and am working on a project for healthcare. This info is valuable as the diseases that affect each ethnic group need to be looked at and placed into proper context. Thank you and I hope to hear from you.

    Kind regards,

    Mario Moya, MD

    1. Anna Brown2 years ago

      Thanks for your question. Our latest data on Hispanics by origin can be found here: pewhispanic.org/category/demogra…

      All of our analysis is on self-identified Hispanics, regardless of race.

      Anna Brown

  3. James E. Myricks2 years ago

    YOU’LL ARE THE NEW RULERS!!! In America, which is a Democracy, it is all about the majority, not he minority whip. In other words, please set up voter registration campaign
    to ensure that as many Hispanic are registered to Vote. Hispanic women are having babies at an alarming rate, as black women in the past. Black women and White women are only having one to children per family, whereas Hispanic women are having more; I think this is so wonderful because I came from a family of 15 Children: 9 boys and 5 girls. We had each other to play with and did not have to look for friends. All of our friends came to our house to Play.


    James Myricks

  4. MARIO MOLINA3 years ago

    exelentes datos y estudios radicalizados me gustaría formar parte de sus consultorias estoy a la orden en Honduras para cualquier dato o ampliacion en temas de importancia para centro americana que tenga impacto en los estados unidos.

    a la orden.

  5. Cynthia Curran3 years ago

    Well, in Texas major counties they are the largest school age group. You only mention California but in Harris, Dallas and Bextar, they are a large group as well. Harris is the 3rd largest county in the Us, more Mexicans in Harris than either Orange and San Diego Counties in California.

    1. Nathaniel Mata3 years ago

      in Rio Grande Valley counties I think it’s close to 85-90% Latinos

  6. andavid20073 years ago

    I went to Kings Park in Long Island today for BBQ and quite surprised of how many Hispanic down there. Probably 80% among all the people in the park. A lot of kids. I was wondering what’s going on, prompting me to Google Hispanic population in US. With such a trend, US will soon follow China and India but China has effectively implemented “one couple, one kid” to curb its exponential growth of population. This cannot be sustanable for all
    mankind on earth because of limited resource.

  7. Al t3 years ago

    This is insane. There was no shortage of people in the u.s. before 1970 and there certainly isn’t now. We are building in a permanent under class of unskilled, uneducated people with huge families and tremendous social needs. The future will be in a lower, sustainable population or a race to catch china and India, the only more populous countries on earth. Does anyone want to look like either of those? Help those of us who are enlightened, what does this crazy population growth do for: global warming, resource use, school crowding, open space, the environment, or any of the host of problems we face?

    1. Adam3 years ago

      It apparent that you don’t know very many Hispanics and you probably get your information from rightwing sources like Fox News. There are more educated and skilled Hispanics in this country than you think. I live in Colorado and own a small business. The majority of my clients are educated, skilled and professional Hispanics. Hispanics are contributing to this country and I welcome their contributions.

    2. Nathaniel Mata3 years ago

      If these kids go to school and don’t have to face your ridiculous view that if someone isn’t like you their are inferior they will be in school and contributing to the country like the next person. Why would someone young who does well in school automatically be part of a ‘permanent class of unskilled’. I’m sorry but that was an idiotic comment

    3. Anonymous1 year ago

      Didnt people say the same about the Italians and Irish a 100 years ago? Look at where they are now!

  8. Alejandro Becerra3 years ago

    Excellent article. Keep up the great work. Pew is deservedly acquiring a super reputation.

  9. Ed Sacks3 years ago

    Great article loaded with interesting stats and clear enough to draw conclusions.

  10. Alejandro Buendia3 years ago

    Hispanics are about family –the more the merrier. A family with single children is a rare thing to see. It is estimated by demographic experts that in order to keep a sustainable growth in population in our current era, each family must have at least 2 offspring’s. In the Hispanic Community, this is very common and most times exceeds the metric (To be discussed in another Blog). America is greatly benefited by this hard working, jaunty, entrepreneurial community that is adopting America, better yet the American Dream as its own. Companies that do not strive to go after this community, will kick themselves for missing out on this grand opportunity!

    1. legal immigrant3 years ago

      I’m not sure if my other comment is getting published, not pro-“undocumented” immigrant enough, but to the previous poster’s comment “Hispanics are about family –the more the merrier. ” Does that only apply to hispanics, or will you be unselfish enought to support/promote immigrants from non-hispanic countries, who generally are lot poorer and disadvantaged, to also flow into this country at similar levels that hispanics have been allowed? The more the merrier right?