Note: The adjacent table has been updated to reflect 2013 numbers. For more analysis, see the updated report.
Among the 51.9 million Hispanics in the United States, nearly two-thirds (64.6%), or 33.5 million, trace their family origins to Mexico. The Mexican origin population is by far the largest Hispanic origin group in the U.S. Puerto Ricans, the nation’s second largest Hispanic origin group, number about 5 million and make up 9.5% of the total Hispanic population in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Overall, the 14 largest Hispanic origin groups—Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Spaniards, Hondurans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Argentineans—make up 95% of the U.S. Hispanic population. Six Hispanic origin groups have populations greater than 1 million.
There are differences across these thirteen population groups in the share of each that is foreign born, holds citizenship (by birth or naturalization) and is proficient in English. They are also of varying age, tend to live in different areas within the U.S. and have varying levels of education, homeownership, income and poverty.
The characteristics of the largest Hispanic origin groups in the U.S. are explored in the report “The Nation’s 14 Largest Hispanic Origin Groups: Characteristics, Rankings” and in 14 statistical profiles, one for each Hispanic origin group. Hispanic origin is based on self-described family ancestry or place of birth in response to questions in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. It is not necessarily the same as place of birth. For example, a person born in Los Angeles may identify his or her origin as Mexico. Likewise, some people born in Mexico may identify another country as their origin depending on the place of birth of their ancestors.
Each statistical profile describes the demographic, employment and income characteristics of a Hispanic origin population residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The characteristics of an origin group are also compared with all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. This report and accompanying Hispanic origin profiles use data from the 2011 American Community Survey.