September 8, 2016

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

5. Ranking the Latino population in metropolitan areas

More than half (53%) of the nation’s Hispanics lived in 15 metropolitan areas in 2014 (see chart to the right for a list of these areas). There were 11 metropolitan areas where at least 1 million Hispanics resided.

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim topped the list with 6 million Hispanics in 2014. About one-in-ten (11%) Hispanics nationwide live in this one metropolitan area. And this metropolitan area has more Hispanics than all but two states: California and Texas.

The New York-Newark-Jersey City and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan areas round out the top three by Hispanic population, with 4.8 million and 2.6 million Hispanics, respectively. These top three metropolitan areas account for about a quarter (24%) of the nation’s Hispanic population: 9% of all Hispanics nationwide live in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area and 5% live in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area.

Among the top 15 metropolitan areas, nine are located within two states – California (four) and Texas (five). In addition to Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, top Hispanic metropolitan areas located in California are Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (with 2.2 million Hispanics), San Diego-Carlsbad (1.1 million Hispanics) and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward (1 million). In Texas, the following metropolitan areas fall within the top 15 for Hispanic populations nationally: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land (2.3 million Hispanics), Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (1.9 million), San Antonio-New Braunfels (1.3 million), McAllen-Edinburg-Mission (800,000) and El Paso (700,000 Hispanics). Two of the top 15 metropolitan areas are in Florida: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, each with 600,000 Hispanics.

Among the top 15 metropolitan areas, most of the Hispanic populations are majority U.S. born. There are two notable exceptions: Hispanics in Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (in D.C., Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia) are majority foreign born. About six-in-ten Hispanics (61%) in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metropolitan area and more than half (53%) of Hispanics in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area are foreign born.

The geographic settlement of Hispanics across the U.S. is linked to Hispanic origin. For example, 79% of the Hispanics living in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim and 76% of Hispanics in Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land were of Mexican origin in 2014. Hispanics of Mexican origin are dominant groups in other metropolitan areas in the Southwest border states. 15 And in some metropolitan areas, such as El Centro, California, and McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, nearly all Hispanics are of Mexican origin (98% and 97%, respectively).

In metropolitan areas along the East Coast, the origins of the Hispanic populations are more diverse. While the Hispanic population residing in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia, metropolitan area is predominately of Mexican origin, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are the largest Hispanic origin groups in New York-Newark-Jersey City and Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island-Massachusetts. In Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, 43% of Hispanics were of Cuban origin in 2014. And in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, a third of Hispanics were of Salvadoran origin.

  1. Southwest border states are Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.