An estimated 259,000 Hispanics of Venezuelan origin resided in the United States in 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Venezuelans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Venezuelan origin; this means either they themselves are Venezuelan immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to Venezuela. Venezuelans are the 13th-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 0.5% 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 Venezuelan 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. About seven-in-ten Venezuelans (69%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 36% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. Roughly eight-in-ten immigrants from Venezuela (82%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. About one-third of Venezuelan immigrants (35%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. About two-thirds (68%) of Venezuelans ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.2 The other 32% of Venezuelans report speaking English less than very well, compared with 34% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Venezuelans are younger than the U.S. population but older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Venezuelans is 32; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Venezuelans ages 15 and older are more likely to be married (49%) than Hispanics overall (43%) and about as likely as the U.S. population overall (48%) to be married.
- Fertility. About one-in-twenty (4%) Venezuelan 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 overall rate for U.S. women—6%.
- Regional dispersion. Venezuelans are concentrated in the South (65%), mostly in Florida (41%).
- Educational attainment. Venezuelans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall and the U.S. population overall. Half (51%) of Venezuelans 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 Venezuelans ages 16 and older were $25,000 in the year prior to the survey—greater 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 Venezuelans who live in poverty, 15%, is about the same as the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and lower than the rate for Hispanics overall (26%).
- Health Insurance. One-quarter of Venezuelans (26%) do not have health insurance compared with 30% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 12% of Venezuelans younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Venezuelan homeownership (48%) is about the same as 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 Venezuelan 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).