An estimated 609,000 Hispanics of Peruvian origin resided in the United States in 2010, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Peruvians in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Peruvian origin; this means either they themselves are Peruvian immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to Peru. Peruvians are the 10th-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 1.2% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2010. Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 32.9 million, or 64.9%, of the Hispanic population in 2010.1
This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Peruvian population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on tabulations from the 2010 American Community Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.2 Key facts include:
- Immigration status. Two-thirds of Peruvians (67%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 37% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. About seven-in-ten immigrants from Peru (69%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. More than two-in-five Peruvian immigrants (44%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. Nearly three-fifths (59%) of Peruvians ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.3 The other 41% of Peruvians report speaking English less than very well, compared with 35% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Peruvians are younger than the U.S. population but older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Peruvians is 34; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Peruvians are more likely than Hispanics overall to be married—49% versus 44%.
- Fertility. Less than one-in-ten (6%) of Peruvian women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to this survey. That was less than the rate for all Hispanic women—8%—and the rate for U.S. women—7%.
- Regional dispersion. Peruvians are concentrated in the South (37%), mostly in Florida (17%), and in the Northeast (34%), mostly in New Jersey (15%) and New York (13%). An additional 17% live in California.
- Educational attainment. Peruvians have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall. Some 30% of Peruvians ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Peruvians ages 16 and older were $24,000 in 2010; the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics were $20,000.
- Poverty status. The share of Peruvians who live in poverty, 14%, is about the same as the rate for the general U.S. population (15%) and less than the rate for Hispanics overall (25%).
- Health Insurance. Three-in-ten Peruvians (30%) do not have health insurance compared with 31% of all Hispanics and 16% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 16% of Peruvians younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Peruvian homeownership (49%) is higher than the rate for all Hispanics (47%) but lower than the 65% rate for the U.S. population as a whole.
About the Data
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Peruvian origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2010 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. The data used for this statistical profile come from 2010 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), representing a 1% sample of the U.S. population.
Like any survey, estimates from the ACS are subject to sampling error and (potentially) measurement error. Information on the ACS sampling strategy and associated error is available at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/methodology/methodology_main/. An example of measurement error is that citizenship rates for the foreign born are estimated to be overstated in the Decennial Census and other official surveys, such as the ACS (see Jeffrey Passel. “Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing Naturalization,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2007)). Finally, estimates from the ACS may differ from the Decennial Census or other Census Bureau surveys due to differences in methodology and data collection procedures (see, for example, http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/methodology/ASA_nelson.pdf, http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/laborfor/laborfactsheet092209.html and http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/datasources/factsheet.html).