An estimated 556,000 Hispanics of Peruvian origin resided in the United States in 2011, 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 11th-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 1.1% 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 Peruvian 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. More than two-thirds of Peruvians (68%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 36% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. Seven-in-ten immigrants from Peru (70%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. Almost half of Peruvian immigrants (48%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. Six-in-ten (60%) Peruvians ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.2 The other 40% of Peruvians report speaking English less than very well, compared with 34% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Peruvians are younger than the U.S. population but older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Peruvians is 35; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Peruvians ages 15 and older are more likely to be married (47%) than Hispanics overall (43%) but about as likely as the U.S. population overall (48%) to be married.
- Fertility. One-in-twenty (5%) 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 similar to the rate for U.S. women—6%.
- Regional dispersion. Peruvians are concentrated in the South (39%), mostly in Florida (19%), and in the Northeast (34%), mostly in New Jersey (14%) and New York (12%). An additional 16% live in California.
- Educational attainment. Peruvians have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall and slightly higher levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 31% of Peruvians ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics and 29% among the U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Peruvians ages 16 and older were $24,000 in the year prior to the survey—more than the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics ($20,000) but less than the median earnings for the U.S. population ($29,000).
- Poverty status. The share of Peruvians who live in poverty, 13%, is slightly lower than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and less than the rate for Hispanics overall (26%).
- Health Insurance. Almost three-in-ten Peruvians (28%) do not have health insurance compared with 30% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 12% of Peruvians younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Peruvian homeownership (50%) 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 Peruvian 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).