Details about the Hispanic population
In June 2003 the Census Bureau estimated that there were 38.8 million Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. (13.5% of the total U.S. population), having grown 3.5 million or 10% since April 2000. Hispanics had thus become the largest minority group in the U.S., surpassing African-Americans in size. Immigration has accounted for about half of this growth. Between 35 and 45% of foreign-born Hispanics, or about 5 million people, are thought to live in the U.S. without the proper authorization.
The Hispanic population is projected to comprise almost one fourth of the U.S. population by 2050 given the current rates of immigration and natural growth. By then the non-Hispanic White population will be barely half of the total (from a current 70%) given the growth of the Hispanic and Asian minorities. Asians will be almost 9% of the total by then from about 4% now and the African American and Native American populations will remain relatively stable as a percentage of the total.
Where do they come from and where are they in the US
Two out of every five Hispanics were born outside the U.S. (40.2% or 15 million). Slightly more than half of these (52.1%) entered the U.S. between 1990 and 2002. But Hispanic immigrants haven't been coming from different countries evenly in the past decade. The country of origin of foreign born populations in the U.S. between 1990 and 2000 tells us much about the source of the increase in Hispanics: Mexican born residents were 4.3 million in 1990 and 7.8 million in 2000 (an 80% increase); Dominican born were 348,000 in 1990 vs. 692,000 in 2000 (a 99% increase). Foreign-born Cubans, the other major Hispanic group, increased from 737,000 to 952,000. Salvadorians went from 465,000 to 765,000.
Reasons for growth
Hispanic families are larger on average that those of other groups. Thus, for instance, in 2002, 26.5 percent of family households in which a Hispanic person was the householder consisted of five or more people, as opposed to only 10.8 percent for non-Hispanic White family households.
The proportion with a bachelor's degree or more was much lower for Hispanics (11.1%) than for non-Hispanic Whites (29.4%). However, educational attainment varies among Hispanics, with Mexicans having the least high school graduates for instance (50.6%) and bachelor's degree holders (7.6%).
Hispanics are more likely to be unemployed. In March 2002, 8.1% of Hispanics over 16 were unemployed, as opposed to 5.1% of non-Hispanic Whites. Hispanics are also more likely to work in service occupations (22.1% vs. 11.6%), though still less than 1/4 of the total (counter to the stereotype), and tend to earn less than non-Hispanic Whites. Furthermore, in 2002 21.4% of Hispanics were living in poverty, compared with 7.8% of non-Hispanic Whites. More impressively, Hispanic children represented 17.7% of all children in the United States but constituted 30.4% of all children in poverty.
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