The Nation’s Hispanic or Latino Population Grew 23% Between 2010 and 2020

USA people

Among the findings, 18.7% of US residents identify as Hispanic or Latino, according to the Census results.

Of the over 331 million people in the United States, 18.7% are Hispanic or Latino, according to the 2020 US Census report released last week. The long-awaited US Census data revealed that the nation is more racially diverse than ever before.

Census takers who identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, which includes people of any race, numbered 62.1 million in 2020, according to a news release from the Census Bureau. Since 2010, the Hispanic or Latino population grew 23%, while the population that was not Hispanic or Latino grew 4.3% in the past 10 years.

The US Census survey was taken during 2020 and represents where people were living as of April 1, 2020, according to the news release. Census officials say that because of the more granular questions used, the 2020 results more accurately reflect the Hispanic or Latino population.

To arrive at the number of Hispanic and Latino residents, the 2020 Census used two separate questions. The first asked about Hispanic or Latino origin and the second asked about the respondent’s race. How effective those questions are is debatable given that a Pew Research study conducted in 2020 revealed that only 49% of adults surveyed said the census questions well reflected the way they see their race and origin.

The 2010 Census undercounted 1.5% of the Hispanic population. And the incomplete responses to the 2020 survey are likely to also result in an undercount. According to a Nov. 5, 2020, blog post by Dr. Ron Jarmin, deputy director and chief operating officer of the Census Bureau,

“Preliminary indications are that item nonresponse for questions on date of birth, sex, race and Hispanic origin are higher relative to 2010.”

Why the Census Matters

Mandated by the US Constitution, the census data tells who we are as a country, where the nation is headed and helps communities determine where to build schools, homes, businesses and other infrastructure. But perhaps most importantly, it is also the tool used to determine legislative districts and reapportion the seats each state holds in Congress.

Texas gained two seats on the House of Representatives, while Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, Montana and Colorado each picked up one. New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and West Virginia all lost one seat.

California, where the largest racial or ethnic group is Hispanic or Latino for the first time ever, will lose one congressional seat because the state’s overall population decreased. The Hispanic or Latino community now represents 39.4% of Californians, up from 37.6% in 2010. By comparison, the state’s non-Hispanic White population was 34.7% in 2020.

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