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 1.2% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2013. Since 1990, the Peruvian-origin population has more than tripled, growing from 176,000 to 628,000 over the period. At the same time, the foreign-born population of Peruvian origin living in the U.S. grew by about 206%, up from 134,000 in 1990 to 411,000 in 2013. In comparison, Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 34.6 million, or 64.1%, of the Hispanic population in 2013.1
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 Pew Research Center tabulations of the 2013 American Community Survey. Key facts include:
- Immigration status. About two-thirds of Peruvians (65%) in the United States are foreign born, compared with 35% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. About four-in-ten immigrants from Peru (39%) have been in the U.S. for over 20 years. Half of Peruvian immigrants are U.S. citizens.
- Language. About six-in-ten (61%) Peruvians ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.2 Some 39% of Peruvians report speaking English less than very well, compared with 32% of all Hispanics. In addition, 85% of Peruvians ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home.
- Age. Peruvians have close to the same median age as the U.S. population but are older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Peruvians is 36; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 28, respectively. Among Peruvians, the median age of immigrants is 46 years, while it’s only 14 years among the U.S. born.
- Marital status. Peruvians ages 18 and older are married at a higher rate (50%) than Hispanics overall (46%) but are as likely to be married as the U.S. population overall (50%).
- Fertility. About one-in-twenty (6%) Peruvian women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to this survey. That was similar to the rate for all Hispanic women (7%) and the same as the overall rate for U.S. women.
- Regional dispersion. Peruvians are concentrated in the South (39%), mostly in Florida (20%), and in the Northeast (31%), mostly in New Jersey (13%) and New York (12%). An additional 18% live in California.
- Educational attainment. Peruvians have higher levels of education than the U.S. Hispanic population and similar levels to the U.S. population overall. Some 31% of Peruvians ages 25 and older—compared with 14% of all U.S. Hispanics and 30% among the entire U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. Among Peruvians ages 25 and older, the U.S. born are more likely to have earned a bachelor’s degree or more than foreign-born Peruvians—42% vs. 29%.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Peruvians ages 16 and older was $25,000 in the year prior to the survey—more than the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics ($21,900) and lower than the median earnings for the U.S. population ($30,000).
- Poverty status. The share of Peruvians who live in poverty, 13%, is lower than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and for Hispanics overall (25%).
- Health insurance. Roughly one-quarter of Peruvians (26%) do not have health insurance, compared with 29% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. About one-in-ten (9%) Peruvians younger than 18 are uninsured. (These data reflect insurance rates prior to the implementation of the individual insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act.)
- Homeownership. The rate of Peruvian homeownership (47%) is about the same as the rate for all Hispanics (45%) but lower than the U.S. population (64%) as a whole.
About the Data
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Peruvian origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2013 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 2013 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 S. Passel. 2007. “Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing Naturalization.” Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, March). 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/hhes/www/laborfor/laborfactsheet092209.html and http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/datasources/factsheet.html).