Table of Contents
An estimated 1.4 million Hispanics of Colombian origin lived in the United States in 2021, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Colombians in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Colombian origin; this includes immigrants from Colombia and those who trace their family ancestry to Colombia.
Colombians are the seventh-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 2% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2021. From 2000 to 2021, the Colombian-origin population increased 183%, growing from 500,000 to 1.4 million. At the same time, the Colombian foreign-born population living in the U.S. grew by 113%, from 380,000 in 2000 to 820,000 in 2021.
For a downloadable spreadsheet of these findings, see “U.S. Hispanic population data (detailed tables).”
|Year||Foreign born||U.S. born|
Note: Latino origin is based on self-described ancestry, lineage, heritage, nationality group or country of birth.
Source: Pew Research Center tabulations of 2000 census (5% IPUMS) and 2010, 2015 and 2017 American Community Surveys (1% IPUMS).
The following key facts compare demographic and economic characteristics of the Colombian-origin population in the U.S. with the characteristics of U.S. Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. They are based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the 2021 American Community Survey.
- Among Hispanics in the U.S., 32% are foreign born, compared with 57% of U.S. Colombians.
- 52% of foreign-born Colombians have been in the U.S. for over 20 years, and 63% of foreign-born Colombians are U.S. citizens.
- 20% of U.S. Hispanics ages 25 and older have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 38% of Colombians.
- Among Colombians ages 25 and older, the U.S. born are more likely than the foreign born to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (47% vs. 35%).
- Among U.S. Hispanics, the median annual personal earnings for those ages 16 and older was $30,000, compared with $34,000 for Colombians.
- Looking at full-time, year-round workers, U.S. Hispanics earned less than Colombians ($40,000 vs. $47,000).
- The share of U.S. Hispanics overall who live in poverty (18%) is greater than among Colombians (12%).
- 12% of U.S.-born Colombians live in poverty, as do 12% of foreign-born Colombians.
- The rate of homeownership among U.S. Hispanic households (51%) is similar to the rate for Colombian households (53%).
- Among Colombian households in the U.S., rates of homeownership are about the same for those headed by U.S.-born and foreign-born household heads (52% vs. 53%).
Top states of residence
- The Colombian population is concentrated in Florida (31%), New York (13%), New Jersey (10%), Texas (8%) and California (7%).
- The median age of U.S. Hispanics (29.5) is lower than that of Colombians (36.1) and the U.S. population (37.8).
- U.S. Hispanics ages 18 and older are less likely to be married (46%) than Colombians (52%).
- Among Colombians ages 18 and older, those who are foreign born are more likely to be married than the U.S. born (60% vs. 35%).
- 6% of U.S. Hispanic females ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to the July 2021 American Community Survey. The rate for Colombian females was also 6%.
- 72% of U.S. Hispanics ages 5 and older speak only English at home or speak English at least “very well,” compared with 66% of Colombians.
- Meanwhile, 67% of Hispanic adults are English proficient, as are 61% of Colombian adults.
Note: This is an update of a fact sheet originally published in September 2019, which former Research Analyst Antonio Flores contributed to and co-wrote.
Pew Research Center’s fact sheets on U.S. Latinos and the accompanying blog post examine the Latino population of the United States overall and by its 17 largest origin groups – Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, Cubans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Hondurans, Spaniards, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Argentines, Panamanians, Chileans and Costa Ricans. These sheets provide detailed geographic, demographic and economic characteristics for all Latinos and for each Latino origin group. They are based on the Center’s tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 and 2021 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2000 U.S. decennial census.
The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of more than 3 million addresses. It covers the topics previously covered in the long form of the decennial census. The ACS is designed to provide estimates of the size and characteristics of the resident population, which includes persons living in households and group quarters. For more about the ACS, including the sampling strategy and associated error, see the 2010 or 2021 American Community Survey’s Accuracy of the Data document provided by the Census Bureau.
The specific data sources for these fact sheets are the 1% samples of the 2010 and 2021 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) provided by the University of Minnesota and the 5% sample of the 2000 decennial census. IPUMS assigns uniform codes, to the extent possible, to data collected by the decennial census and the ACS from 1850 to 2021. For more information about IPUMS, including variable definition and sampling error, please visit the “IPUMS Documentation and User Guide.”
Due to differences in the way in which IPUMS and Census Bureau adjust income data and assign poverty status, data provided on these topics might differ from data that are provided by the Census Bureau.
For the purposes of these fact sheets, the foreign born include those persons who identified as naturalized citizens or noncitizens and are living in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Persons born in Puerto Rico and other outlying territories of the U.S. and who are now living in the 50 states or D.C. are included in the U.S.-born population.