An estimated 2.0 million Hispanics of Cuban origin resided in the United States in 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Cubans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Cuban origin; this means either they themselves are Cuban immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to Cuba. Cubans are the fourth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 3.6% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2011. Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 33.5 million, or 64.6%, of the Hispanic population in 2011.1
This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Cuban population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on tabulations from the 2011 American Community Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Key facts include:
- Immigration status. Nearly six-in-ten Cubans (58%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 36% of all Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. More than half of the immigrants from Cuba (52%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. More than half of Cuban immigrants (55%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. A majority (60%) of Cubans speak English proficiently.2 The other 40% of Cubans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 34% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Cubans are older than the U.S. population and Hispanics overall. The median age of Cubans is 40; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Cubans ages 15 and older are more likely than Hispanics overall to be married—45% versus 43%—and less likely than the U.S. population overall to be married (48%).
- Fertility. One-in-twenty (5%) Cuban women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to this survey. That was slightly less than the rate for all Hispanic women—8%—and the overall rate for U.S. women—6%.
- Regional dispersion. Cubans are the most geographically concentrated of the 12 largest Hispanic origin groups. 70% live in Florida.
- Educational attainment. Cubans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall and somewhat lower levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 25% of Cubans ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics and 29% among the entire U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Cubans ages 16 and older were $24,400 in the year prior to the survey, higher than the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics ($20,000) but lower than the median earnings for the U.S. population ($29,000).
- Poverty status. The share of Cubans who live in poverty, 19%, is slightly higher than that of the general U.S. population (16%) and below the 26% share among all Hispanics.
- Health Insurance. One-quarter of Cubans (25%) do not have health insurance compared with 30% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 10% of Cubans younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Cuban homeownership (56%) is higher than the rate for all Hispanics (46%) but lower than the 65% rate for the U.S. population as a whole.
About the Data
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Cuban origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2011 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 2011 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).