Mapping the Latino Population, by State, County, and City
August 2013: The Latino population in the United States, while still anchored in its traditional settlement areas, continues to disperse across the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
Today, the 100 largest counties by Latino population contain 71% of all Latinos. Los Angeles County alone contains 4.8 million Latinos, or 9% of the nation's Latino population. But the share of all Latinos who live in these counties has fallen from 75% in 2000 and 78% in 1990, reflecting Latino population growth outside of these 100 counties.
About half of these counties are in three states - California, Texas and Florida. Along with New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, and Colorado, these eight states contain three-quarters of the nation's Latino population. But with the dispersal of the U.S. Latino population across the country, this share too is down from 79% in 2000 and 83% in 1990.
The Latino population’s diversity is reflected in its geography. Across the largest U.S. metropolitan areas by Latino population, the mix of Latino origin groups varies. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area, and in most metro areas in the border states, Mexican-origin Latinos are the dominant group. The composition differs along the east coast.
In the New York-Northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are the dominant Latino-origin groups, Cubans are the dominant Latino group in Miami-Hialeah and Salvadorans are the dominant group in the Washington, DC metro area. Nationally, Mexicans are the largest Latino-origin group, making up 64.6% of all Latinos.
These findings are part of the Pew Research Center's Latino population updates for every state and county, plus the 60 largest Latino metropolitan areas, as well as updated demographic and economic profiles of the Latino population for the states and those 60 metro areas. The data used in these updates is from the 2011 American Community Survey, the 2000 Census and U.S. Census Bureau county population datasets.
Accompanying these updates are an interactive map showing key Latino population characteristics in all 50 states and the District of Columbia; an interactive map, interactive table and interactive graphics showing Latino population characteristics in the 60 largest metro areas by Latino population; and interactive maps showing the size, share and growth in the Latino population in each of the nation’s counties between 1980 and 2011. All of these features can be found at the new Latinos by Geography page.
Among the key findings by state:
- More than half (55%) of the U.S. Latino population resides in three states: California, Texas, and Florida. California has the nation's largest Latino population, with about 14.4 million Latinos. California's Latino population alone accounts for more than one-fourth (28%) of U.S. Latinos.
- New Mexico has the highest Latino population share (46.7% of the state's population) among the 50 states and District of Columbia. Maine, West Virginia, and Vermont were among those with the lowest shares.
- Over the last decade, some of the fastest growing Latino populations are in the southeastern United States.
Among the key findings by county:
- The 10 largest counties by Latino population account for almost one-third (30%) of the country's Latino population. The 25 largest contain 46% of the nation's Latino population.
- Among all 3,143 counties in the U.S., 87 are majority Latino. Of those, 56 are in Texas.
- Among counties with a Latino population of at least 1,000 in 2011, Georgia's Stewart County experienced the most growth in the Latino population since 2000, growing 1,754% over 11 years.
Among the key findings by metropolitan area:
- More than four-in-ten (44%) Latinos live in the 10 largest metropolitan areas by Latino population.
- The Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area has the nation's largest Latino population (5.8 million) and alone accounts for about one-in-ten (11%) Latinos nationally. The New York-Northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area is the second largest by Latino population (4.3 million) and is home to 8% of Latinos nationwide.
- In Miami, 66% of the Latino population is foreign born, a share higher than any of the top 60 metro areas and the only metro area in the top 10 in which more than half of Latinos are foreign born. By contrast, only 17% of Latinos in the San Antonio area are foreign born. For U.S. Latinos overall, the foreign-born share is 36%.
Source: Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of data and analysis. It does not take advocacy positions. Its Latino Trends Project, founded in 2001, seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Latino population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation.