Hispanics in the US: A new generation

The US Hispanic community

Graph of growing Hispanic population
The term "Hispanic" was first used by the US government in the 1970 Census. This diverse population of more than 45 million people is also described as "Latino". It is the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the US.
Map showing where Hispanic people live
The US Hispanic population is concentrated in the south-west states. Half live in California or Texas - but New Mexico is the state with the biggest percentage. Los Angeles County has the highest number - more than 4.6m.
Map showing growing Hispanic populations
But during that last few decades, Hispanics have begun to move to other areas. The states with the fastest-growing populations are in the Midwest and South East - away from the traditional areas in the South West.
Map showing origins of Hispanic population
More than six in 10 US Hispanics identify themselves as being of Mexican origin. The next largest populations by country of origin are from Puerto Rico, Cuba, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.
Graph showing youth of Hispanic population
US Hispanics are a very young group. Their median age is 27, compared with 31 for blacks, 36 for Asians and 41 for whites. One in five children in school is Hispanic and one in four is classed as a newborn.
Graph showing growing second and third generations
The growth in the Hispanic population has been fuelled by the rise of a new second generation - US-born children of immigration beginning in the 1970s. Among Hispanic youth, this second generation is expected to peak in 2025.
Graphs showing how young Hispanics describe themselves
Many young, first-generation Hispanics refer to their family's country of origin when describing themselves, but that changes among higher generations. The number calling themselves "American" rises significantly by the third.
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