June 25, 2015

Hispanic population reaches record 55 million, but growth has cooled

U.S. Hispanic Population is Growing More SlowlyThe U.S. Hispanic population has been a key driver of the country’s population growth since at least 2000. But the group’s growth has slowed in recent years, and that trend continued in 2014, as evidenced by new figures released early today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Hispanic population reached a new high of 55.4 million in 2014 (or 17.4% of the total U.S. population), an increase of 1.2 million (2.1%) from the year before. However, that 2.1% rate continues a trend of slower growth that began in 2010.

Hispanic population growth had peaked earlier, in the 1990s. From 1995 to 2000, annual average growth was 4.8%, and growth has declined since then. From 2010 to 2014, the annual average growth had dropped to 2.2%. Part of the reason for this decline in population growth is the slowdown in immigration from Latin America, and in particular, from Mexico.

Hispanic Population GrowthThe Census Bureau’s annual population estimates detail the nation’s demographics in a variety of categories, including race and ethnicity, geography, and age. For example, the county with the highest Hispanic population by far is Los Angeles County in California (4.9 million), followed by Harris County in Texas (1.9 million) and Miami-Dade County in Florida (1.8 million).

Hispanic populations are not necessarily growing everywhere. From 2010 to 2014, the Hispanic population declined in 11 counties that have Hispanic populations of 10,000 or more, located in Alabama (Jefferson), Arizona (Santa Cruz), Florida (Hardee), Georgia (Clayton and DeKalb), New Mexico (Rio Arriba, San Juan, and San Miguel) and Texas (Duval, Hale and Willacy). The biggest decline came in DeKalb County in suburban Atlanta, where the Hispanic population was 64,279 in 2014, down 4% from 2010.

The data showed no change in ranking among the states with the highest Hispanic populations. California still leads the list (15.0 million), followed by Texas (10.4 million) and Florida (4.8 million). Together, these three states account for more than half (55%) the Hispanic population. But their share is down from 58% in 2000, reflecting a wider dispersion of the nation’s Hispanic population over the past decade and a half.

In addition, the new Census Bureau estimates show that Hispanics, with a median age of 29 years, are younger than most other racial or ethnic groups. By comparison, the median age for non-Hispanic blacks is 34; it’s 43 for non-Hispanic whites and 36 for Asians. But Hispanics are growing older: In 2010, the group’s median age was 27, up from 26 in 2000.

Topics: Latin America, Demographics, Population Trends, U.S. Census, Hispanic/Latino Demographics, Mexico

  1. Photo of Jens Manuel Krogstad

    is a writer/editor focusing on Hispanics, immigration and demographics at Pew Research Center.

  2. Photo of Mark Hugo Lopez

    is director of Hispanic research at Pew Research Center.


  1. Anonymous1 year ago

    Hispanic is not a race! You can see clearly if they are white Spanish or partially, Amerindian or black. 55 million. About 38 to 40 million are classified white. Half of them are just partially because they married into white non Hispanics. Cameron Diaz, Charlie Sheen and so many others. The other half are like Ricky Martin who is fully Spaniard. Then you get black Hispanic or partially black up to 2 million. Some Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. About 14 million plus are the Hispanics people think of. Mostly Metizos and some are like Jen Lopez who is mostly Spaniard but she says some other race but she plays white people in some movies. I estimate 10 to 14 million are the Latinos that people think of in general. Amerindian looking or mostly! 4 to 6 percent of the population. Many still marry white non Hispanics or most of the 2nd generations. That leaves about 77 percent of the population is white. Hispanics and non Hispanic whites have the highest intermarriages. Most of the Hispanics especially in CA or the NY and NJ areas surburbia up to 80 percent or more are white Hispanics. The urban areas half the Hispanics are white and about 40 percent are some other race or 10 percent black Hispanics. 77 percent plus is white. 4.5 percent Asian. 1/2 the Asians are marrying white people too especially in Ca and most of the Eurasians marry white people as well. They will be absorbed in the white populations. Someday someone might say they are 1/4 German 1/4 Irish-English 1/4 Italian 1/4 either Chinese Puerto Rican or Mexican. Of course they can say Hispanic because the census asks if one of your grandparents are Hispanic. They do not ask about white ethics. Black population is about 12.5 percent or mostly black or mixed black and white. They do not ask the black population is they are partially white because many are. 77 percent white including white Hispanics 12.5 percent Black and Black Hispanics 4.5 percent Asian or mostly and 4 to 6 percent some other race who are mostly Hispanic who are racially Amerindian or Amerindian looking Metizos. You should all know this. I have met many kids with their fathers were say Puerto Rican(mixed) and their mothers were German Irish types and their kids looked White or Spaniard and some even looked more Northern European.

  2. Anonymous1 year ago

    who cares about the meaning of latino and hispanic. This is a crisis of biblical proportions for america. I wouldn’t mind so much if they came here and took our country, but why are we giving it away? I’m glad I won’t be around to see the destruction.

    1. Anonymous1 year ago

      Everyone should care the meaning of the Spanish. The Spanish bought you here, if you are of any European country then 85% chance you got here after the Spanish conquered and civilized the Indians so that they would not hurt you. Most amazing is that while they are civilizing the new world Spain is attacked by others countries which were jealous. Instead of attacking Spain who’s army was over seas, these countries should have assisted in civilizing the people of the new world. The Spanish had to do it all on their own. So you should care about the soldiers that made america

  3. Anonymous1 year ago

    People are confused Hispanics are those that speak Castilian “Spanish” in many ways.
    I m Hispanic first and Latino second…the term Latino is broader than hispanic it includes French, Italian, spanish,portuguese, romanian ,and others groups all of them speak romance languages.there is not Latium in spain but Italy so the italian are more latin than I.

  4. Anonymous1 year ago

    Its to expensive to have to many children and people are more educated than before.

  5. george2 years ago

    i am really interested in thiis article veryy muchh. it was a nice article

  6. houdy2 years ago

    i like ur workk

  7. Timothy Gray2 years ago

    Excuse my ignorance, but what is the definition of “Hispanic”? Unlike Irish or Polish, which is my ancestry, it does not specify a country of origin, nor does it describe a “racial” group. A friend of mine was quite insulted and confused when she immigrated with her husband to the US; she was called a “Hispanic” because she spoke Spanish. Her whole ancestry dating back centuries came from England, and were proud to be English. Wassup?
    Like my parents, the children and grandchildren of immigrants STOP being Polish or Irish in any real way. Millions of “Hispanics” are quickly blending into the “white” category. I don’t see those kinds of figures in articles like this.

    1. Monica2 years ago

      Timothy Gray;
      the term Hispanic/Latino goes back to the 1970 census where the US Government needed to classify the people the lived in the US and spoke Spanish.
      Hispanic to your point so your friend is happier is based in Hispania, Roman name for Iberian Peninsula = Spain, which as you know is located in Europe as England is.
      the official language back then was Latin, so when the US government decided to use “Hispania” a lot of people living here in the US got offended, why?, because of the bad memories (oppression, slavery, etc) that that will bring to them as you might know Mexico was a colony of Spain for 300 yrs. as were some parts of Latin America, then they (US Gov) decided to change it to Latin, since that is the roots of Spanish.. but not all the languages in Europe came from those same roots, so the discrepancy continues.
      It took me a while to understand myself why I was being called Hispanic or Latin, I did not get upset or offended but it is important to know the reasons behind it. May be your friend would like to read more about this to understand better and not to feel offended ( that’s a paradigm she has). Have a great day!

    2. joe2 years ago

      Hispanic refers to language. A person from Spain and a person from Mexico are both considered Hispanic. Latino, on the other hand, refers to someone from South/Central America. Hence, a Brazilian can be considered Latino as well.

      This system is very bad and stupid but it’s what we’ve got at the moment

      1. Fermín2 years ago

        Hispanics are those who speak Spanish no matter if they’re from Mexico, Central or South America except Brazil, French Guyana and Haiti that speak Portuguese and creole French like in Haiti.
        All these countries have one thing in common and that is they are all Latin or Latinos because there languages derive from ancient latin language like for example Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian and Catalan.

        1. Anonymous1 year ago

          Wrong Fermin,it all depend where you are coming from. Hispanic from South American speak Castellano.

    3. John Alvarado2 years ago

      Hispanic means of the Spanish culture. Spain is the Mother country of all Hispanic people. This is all over the world where Spain dominated. Really all of the Americas, Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, etc. Hispanics speak Castilian, as Castile joined all of Spain and conquered much of the world. Hispanics are also called Latin mainly because their culture has the background of Latin Rome. I would venture to guess that France, Spain, Portugal, Romania, all countries in the Americas (among some) also consider themselves Latin because of the Latin Roman culture.
      In truth Europe is divided between Germanic and Latin cultures. We must also see that many of our European languages also have Latin roots! The languages after all use the Latin letters. In Germany a girl is called Maria and not Mary for example. So you can say that even Germanic type countries are also influenced by the Latin culture of Rome.

      1. Fermín2 years ago

        You are correct to certain extend but Brazil, and Haiti are not Hispanic countries because they don’t have any ties with Spain, only ties from Portugal like in Brazil long time ago and France like in Haiti long time ago as well, so those countries in latin America are not Hispanic at all and yes they are Latin.

    4. Drew Meister1 year ago

      Increasingly more and more Hipanic/Latino populations are born in the USA. Which Im surprised Mr. Lopez didn’t mention that in his article. However anybody who has a interest in Demography would decipher that, that being the average age of the Hispanic population is 29 yrs. So as an increasing number of Hipanics are born in the USA, that means that they are US citizens, with Hispanic ethnicity. It was found that US born Hispancs overall embrace the american way of life already. They love Hollywood movies, American sports such as NFL, NBA, fast food, they listen to American radio stations and read american magazines, everything from Fashion to pop culture. So maybe combover from NY running for president can build a wall around his own beloved tower.

      1. Anonymous1 year ago

        Please go back in history…it is not DJT at fault it is this land wich belonged to Mexico ,read the war between US
        And Mexico ,to better understand the rioters from west of
        This count!

    5. Anonymous1 year ago

      Listen Irish dude, your country was conquered by romans, the whole UK was before it became UK. So your ancestors are probably 80 percent roman but you call yourself Irish. Spain and France conquered both south and north America. Including Canada. We conquered all the empires of the new world but we did not wipe them out, instead we chose to teach them about God and how to build stuff. We also had a bunch of babies with the Indians and there men also had babies with our women. Meanwhile, back in Europe we were attacked by a bunch of jealous nations wanting what we had and so they attacked our countries while we were over seas and forced the leasers of Spain to cough up some land, “the Spanish succession”. 75% of our army was in America fighting then civilizing the Indians so that the rest of Europe could enjoy our new discovery but jealousy ruined all our plans. After being blindsidedly attacked with only a bit more than half our army, we gave up territory all around the world including America. After a couple hundred years Britain’s armies felt comfortable coming to take even more land and other stuff like animals lumber fruits vegetation (tax) this angered the 13 colonies and so they asked us for help. Our armies had been waiting patiently for the opportunity to show Britain that our army was invincible. Now we had at least 3/4 of our army and we did what we do best. We dismantled their soldiers and sent them back to Europe and decided with the 13 colonies to make instead a bunch of states which included territory recovered after this war of independence. As we were incorporating colonies into states, the leaders of the colonies began plotting with Britain behind our backs. We put most of our northern territory under one leadership to unite an prosper together. Imagine this! We won all the mayor battles for the independence of the 13 colonies, then president Washington and Spain became one country with lots of states. Through the years everyone felt comfortably working side by side to build a powerful something, (a project). But Britain’s plot to regain their 13 colonies never stopped and eventually the new presidents of USA began working more and more with them. They have never forgotten what happened during our independence so they will always hate Spain and make up ways to insult our new population of mixed spanish and indian of around 500 million people, (Hispanics). We have put so much in USA that we’ve even fought each other to protect the USA from fake threats which were just plots to reduce our Spanish descent population.

  8. David2 years ago


    first, sorry for my bad english (i’m from Germany), and respect for the great and extremly informative work of the Pew Research Center!

    I have a question: Imply the 55.2 million Hispanics the (i think 12 million) illegal immigrants from Latin America?

    About an answer I would of course be very happy!

    Yours sincerely,

    1. Magni Togorsak2 years ago

      Most hispanics are from the US, the vast majority have been in America way before the US even existed. Remember half of the US used to belong to Mexico.

      Once the US took over those territories the people who lived there turned into Americans. (they didn’t vanish into thin air you know?)

      As far as illegal immigration, there are 12 million illegals in America, but not all are from Latin America…. there are many illegals from Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle east.

      The largest number of illegals come from mexico, followed by China, India and the philippines… So it’s not latin Americans but rather Mexicans. (for example there are hardly any chileans, argentinians, paraguayans etc in the US)

      when Americans say hispanic, it’s often the spanish speaking populations of the US and the large chunk of them are mexicans 78% I believe.

      1. David2 years ago

        Thank you for your response!

        Of course you are right about the point that many states with a high proportion of Hispanics like New Mexico or Texas were part of Mexico before they became part of the US, and of course have the Mexicans who lived in these territories not vanish into thin air. But as far as i know, only a very small part of Mexicans now live in the US are descendants of the “native” Mexicans, the vast majority immigrated to the US since the second half of the 20th century.

        According to Wikipedia, 63 % of the Hispanics (not only the illegals) are Mexicans.

        On illegal immigration: Okay, possibly not all of the 12 million come from Latin America, but a vast majority of them. I think an important group next to the Mexicans are Latinos from Central America, while the South Americans, as you write, do not play a major role.

        Best regards,

  9. Gerardo2 years ago

    Queridos hermanos:
    Soy pastor evangélico, que al leer su página, a la verdad que me ha agradado por
    la muy variada información estadística que escriben. Les ruego a que tengan la amabilidad
    de informarme cómo puedo leerles en español, ya que soy latino.
    Permítanme felicitarles por tan excelente trabajo.
    Quedo a la espera de su gratísima respuesta.
    Ps. Gerardo