September 15, 2015

Hispanics of Salvadoran Origin in the United States, 2013

Statistical Profile

Salvadoran-Origin Population in the U.S., 1990-2013An estimated 2 million Hispanics of Salvadoran origin resided in the United States in 2013, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Salvadorans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Salvadoran origin; this means either they themselves are Salvadoran immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to El Salvador.

Salvadorans are the fourth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 3.7% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2013. Since 1990, the Salvadoran-origin population has more than tripled, growing from 563,000 to 2 million over that period. At the same time, the foreign-born population of Salvadoran origin living in the U.S. grew 156%, up from 459,000 in 1990 to 1.2 million 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 Salvadoran population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall, and includes public opinion data of Salvadoran and Hispanic adults. It is based on Pew Research Center tabulations of the 2013 American Community Survey and Pew Research Center’s 2013 National Survey of Latinos. Key facts include:

About the Data

This statistical profile of Hispanics of Salvadoran origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey (ACS) and a nationally representative Pew Research Center survey of 5,103 Hispanic adults conducted May 24-July 28, 2013. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish on cellular as well as landline telephones and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points. For a complete methodology, see: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/05/07/appendix-a-survey-methodology-2/

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).

U.S. Population, by Ethnicity and Salvadoran Origin, 2013

Household Characteristics, by Ethnicity and Salvadoran Origin, 2013

Employment Characteristics, by Ethnicity and Salvadoran Origin, 2013

  1. Percentages are computed before numbers are rounded.
  2. This includes Salvadorans ages 5 and older who speak only English at home or, if they speak a non-English language at home, indicate they can speak English “very well.”
  3. Language dominance, or primary language, is a composite measure based on self-described assessments of speaking and reading abilities. “Spanish-dominant” persons are more proficient in Spanish than in English, i.e., they speak and read Spanish “very well” or “pretty well” but rate their English-speaking and -reading ability lower. “Bilingual” refers to persons who are proficient in both English and Spanish. “English-dominant” persons are more proficient in English than in Spanish.