September 8, 2016

U.S. Latino Population Growth and Dispersion Has Slowed Since the Onset of the Great Recession

4. Ranking the Latino population in the states

By 2014, eight states had Latino populations of at least 1 million: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey and Colorado. 14

With 15 million Hispanics residing in California, its Hispanic population accounts for more than a quarter (27%) of the nation’s Hispanic population. California also passed a milestone in 2014, when the state’s Hispanic population was for the first time ever the largest of any racial or ethnic group.

Following California is Texas. Nearly one-in-five Hispanics nationwide (19%) reside in Texas, where the Hispanic population reached 10.4 million in 2014. In third place is Florida, with 4.8 million Hispanics, accounting for nearly one-in-ten (9%) of the nation’s Hispanics.

Nearly half (48%) of New Mexico’s population is Latino, the highest share among the states. New Mexico is followed by California and Texas, whose populations are 39% Latino in each. Nearly one-third of Arizona’s population (31%) was Latino in 2014, as were about a quarter of Nevada’s (28%) and Florida’s (24%). In Colorado (21%), New Jersey (19%), New York (19%) and Illinois (17%) about one-in-five people were Latino.

From 2000 to 2014, the Latino population in South Dakota grew fastest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. South Dakota’s Latino population has nearly tripled, reaching 29,000 in 2014 – up from 10,000 in 2000. The Latino populations in Tennessee and South Carolina have also nearly tripled. In 2014, Tennessee had 322,000 Latinos, up from 117,000 in 2000, and South Carolina had 258,000 Latinos in 2014, up from 95,000 in 2000. North Dakota and other Southern states rounded out the top 10 states for Latino population growth.

The Hispanic population in North Dakota, however, has been the fastest-growing between 2007 and 2014 – the number of Hispanics has nearly doubled in that time. In 2014, about 18,000 Hispanics lived in North Dakota, up from 9,000 in 2007. Others in the top five for the fastest-growing state Hispanic populations between 2007 and 2014 are Kentucky (66%), Louisiana (64%), Delaware (64%) and Maryland (60%).

In most of the states, the Latino populations were majority U.S. born in 2014. But in the District of Columbia, 53% of Latinos are foreign born. And in Maryland, 50% are foreign born. With the exception of New Jersey, each of the top 10 states for the share of Latinos that are foreign born was located in the South.

  1. New Mexico had 994,000 Latinos in 2014, which rounded up to 1.0 million in the chart.