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 2013. Since 1990, the Venezuelan-origin population has grown more than fivefold, going from 49,000 to 248,000 over the period. At the same time, the foreign-born population of Venezuelan origin living in the U.S. grew by 388%, up from 35,000 in 1990 to 170,000 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 Venezuelan 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 seven-in-ten Venezuelans (69%) in the United States are foreign born, compared with 35% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. About a quarter of immigrants from Venezuela (23%) have been in the U.S. for over 20 years. About four-in-ten Venezuelan immigrants (39%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. Seven-in-ten Venezuelans ages 5 and older speak English proficiently.2 The other 30% of Venezuelans report speaking English less than very well, compared with 32% of all Hispanics. In addition, 85% of Venezuelans ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home.
- Age. Venezuelans are younger than the U.S. population but older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Venezuelans is 34; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 28, respectively. Among Venezuelans, the median age of immigrants is 39 years, while it’s only 15 years among the U.S. born.
- Marital status. Venezuelans ages 18 and older are more likely to be married (54%) than Hispanics overall (46%) and the U.S. population overall (50%). Among Venezuelans ages 18 and older, the foreign born are more likely to be married than U.S.-born Venezuelans—57% vs. 40%.
- Fertility. One-in-twenty (5%) Venezuelan 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 overall rate for U.S. women (6%).
- Regional dispersion. Venezuelans are concentrated in the South (69%), mostly in Florida (42%).
- Educational attainment. Venezuelans have higher levels of education than the U.S. Hispanic population and the U.S. population overall. Half of Venezuelans ages 25 and older—compared with 14% of all U.S. Hispanics and 30% among the U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. There is no difference in college completion rates among Venezuelans who are U.S. born and those who are foreign born.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Venezuelans ages 16 and older was $28,000 in the year prior to the survey—greater than the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics ($21,900) and less than the median earnings for the U.S. population ($30,000).
- Poverty status. The share of Venezuelans who live in poverty, 18%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and lower than the rate for Hispanics overall (25%).
- Health insurance. One-quarter of Venezuelans (26%) do not have health insurance, compared with 29% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Some 14% of Venezuelans 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 Venezuelan homeownership (49%) is higher than the rate for all Hispanics (45%) but lower than the 64% rate for the U.S. population as a whole.
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Venezuelan 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).