How Has the Hispanic Population of the US Changed?

According to the US Census Bureau, the Hispanic population of the US increased by more than 450% from 1970 to 2010. In 2010, Mexicans made up 63% of the Latino/Hispanic population in the United States, followed by Puerto Ricans at 9.2%. The most significant change in the ethnic composition of the Hispanic population in the US was in those who identify as having their origins in Central American countries; although people of Central American ancestry made up only 7.9% of the US Latino/Hispanic population in 2010, that percentage had increased by 137% from 2000 and 2010.

More about the Latino/Hispanic population in the US:

  • The origins and uses of the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino" are somewhat controversial. Although both terms are often used to describe people whose ethnic origins are in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, not everyone with these ethnic backgrounds identifies with either term. A 2012 study showed that many people preferred to identify with their country of origin rather than the label of "Latino" or "Hispanic."

  • The US Census asks respondents if they are of "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin."

  • Hispanics/Latinos made up more than half of the overall population increase in the US from 2000 to 2010.

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