Posted on September 12, 2020

Key Facts About U.S. Latinos for National Hispanic Heritage Month

Jens Manuel Krogstad and Luis Noe-Bustamante, Pew Research, September 10, 2020


Here are some key facts about the nation’s Latino population by age, geography and origin groups.

The U.S. Hispanic population reached 60.6 million in 2019, up from 50.7 million in 2010. This makes Hispanics the nation’s second-fastest-growing racial or ethnic group after Asian Americans. Hispanics made up 18% of the U.S. population in 2019, up from 16% in 2010 and just 5% in 1970.

The share of U.S. Hispanics with college experience has increased since 2010. About 41% of U.S. Hispanic adults ages 25 and older had at least some college experience in 2018, up from 36% in 2010. {snip}

The share of Latinos in the U.S. who speak English proficiently is growing. In 2018, 71% of Latinos ages 5 and older spoke English proficiently, up from 59% in 2000. U.S.-born Latinos are driving this growth, as their share on this measure has grown from 81% to 90% during this time. By comparison, 37% of Latino immigrants spoke English proficiently in 2018, a percentage that has increased only slightly since 1980.

People of Mexican origin account for slightly over 60% (37 million) of the nation’s overall Hispanic population as of 2018. Those of Puerto Rican origin are the next largest group, at 5.8 million (another 3.2 million live on the island) {snip} Six other Hispanic origin groups in the U.S. have roughly 1 million or more people each: Cubans, Salvadorans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians and Hondurans.

The fastest population growth among U.S. Latinos has come among those with origins in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Honduras. {snip}

By contrast, the number of people of Mexican origin grew by only 12% from 2010 to 2018, among the lowest growth rates in the top 10 origin groups. At 6%, the Ecuadorian population saw the slowest growth rate.

Four in-five Latinos are U.S. citizens. As of 2018, about 80% of Latinos living in the country are U.S. citizens, up from 74% in 2010. {snip} Spaniards (91%), Panamanians (89%) and Mexicans (80%) have some of the highest citizenship rates, while Hondurans (53%) and Venezuelans (51%) have the lowest rates.


A record 32 million Latinos are projected to be eligible to vote in 2020, up from 27.3 million in 2016. The 2020 election will mark the first time that Hispanics will be the largest racial and ethnic minority group in the electorate, accounting for just over 13% of eligible voters.

Five states are home to two-thirds of all Latino eligible voters in 2018. California (7.9 million) alone holds about a quarter of the U.S. Latino electorate. It is followed by Texas (5.6 million), Florida (3.1 million), New York (2.0 million) and Arizona (1.2 million).

U.S. Latinos make up 43% of eligible voters in New Mexico, the highest share for any state. This is followed by California (30%), Texas (30%), Arizona (24%) and Florida (20%).