This article is about the most Hispanic States in America.
One thing we need to establish is – do we use the term hispanics or latinos? There’s a difference. A majority of hispanic or latinos prefer the term hispanic, which refers to people of Spanish-speaking origin or ancestry. “Latino” is more frequently used to refer generally to anyone of Latin America.
For this discussion, since the Census classifies race using the term ‘hispanic’, that’s the term we’re going to use today.
The Hispanic Population has grown in America, and, since the early 2000s, hispanic growth outpaced that of black americans, as hispanics become the largest minority in the usa. Currently, Hispanics make up about 16.3% of the American population, or about 1 in every 6 residents.
Of course, before America was…America, much of this content was occupied by Native Americans and, of course, central and south american native populations – many of which are technically latino, but didn’t speak spanish because the spanish language was introduced to the continent by Christopher Columbus, who was…from Spain.
Estimates vary, but, most scholars agree there were between 2 and 3 million native individuals here before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ America, and brought white people to North America for the first time.
For what it’s worth.
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about some hispanic history, bring up some modern hispanic stereotypes, and look at which states have the highest hispanic populations.
There are very few personal opinions in this report. Most are facts.
It is also a fact that Mexican food is the best food in the country, especially the burritos at Alberto’s, a chain of mom and pop style mexican restaurants in the greater LA area.
You’ll also find the most Hispanic city in America in California – East Los Angeles.
Okay, so, let’s begin our report on the most hispanic states in America. Or, if you’re interested in reading something else, check out:
- These Are The 10 Cheapest States In America
- Top 20 Best Cities To Retire To In America
- Best States In America
How We Determined The Most Hispanic States in The US
When we analyze what it’s like to live in a certain place, we simply look at statistics. In particular, we can look to the recently released 2013-2017 American Community Survey for a detailed breakdown of race by state.
Specifically, we looked at table B03002 which has the breakdown of people by Hispanic/latino and race.
We looked at the percentage of the population of each state that identified as Hispanic/latino.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 50 in terms of that percentage with the state having the highest overall percentage being named the “State In America with the Largest Hispanic population” — New Mexico.
The “least Hispanic” state according to the data? That would be West Virginia which is only 1.4% Hispanic as of the latest data. Wow.
Here’s a look at the top ten states with the largest Hispanic population in America.
Percent Hispanic: 16.8%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 15.2%
Percent Change: 11.5%
We’re going to begin our report on the most hispanic states in America with….Illinois. Here in Illinois, the hispanic population is 16.8%, or one in every 6 Illinois residents. This is a 1.6% increase in the last 10 years.
Illinois’ hispanic population is exactly the same as the america
For perspective, the least hispanic state is West Virginia, where the hispanic population is 1.4%. That means there are 12 times as many Hispanics in Illinois as in West Virginia. We’ll see much larger numbers as we get further down this list.
Cicero, a west Chicago suburb of 83,000 residents, is 89% hispanic – the largest hispanic population in Illinois.
In 2017, Hispanics became the biggest minority in Chicago, passing up the black population. Nearly 1 in 3 residents of Chicago is Hispanic. The driving force behind the Hispanic growth are births and not immigration, a study found. Chicago also houses the second largest population of Mexican-born immigrants in the U.S, behind Los Angeles.
The African-American population has declined considerably in the city, down about 250,000 residents since 2000, a loss attributed to a lack of jobs and opportunities in Chicago, street violence, and peaking taxes.
According to Yelp, the most popular Mexican restaurant in Chicago is Edgewater Tacos, on Broadway. One reviewer said the Horchata is perfect – not too sweet.
Percent Hispanic: 18.8%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 17.1%
Percent Change: 13.3%
Moving on, we come to our next most hispanic state in America, New York. In New York, there are 3.7 million Hispanics, making up 18.9% of the New York population.
New York state is 1.7% more hispanic since 2010.
Haverstraw (have er), a town 45 miles north of New York City, is the state’s most hispanic, with a Hispanic population of 69%. New York City is 28% hispanic. How Latin is Manhattan? 17%.
In comparison, East Los Angeles, California is America’s most hispanic city, at 97%. Of the nation’s large metro areas with the highest hispanic populations, only Hialeah and Miami Florida are in a non-border state.
Of America’a largest metro areas, cities with the lowest percentage of Hispanic residents are Jackson Mississippi 1.2% hispanic, Warren Michigan at 2.1% and Akron Ohio at 2.3%.
Of course, there are many cities in America with a 0% hispanic population. These small towns must drive far higher than average to purchase Mexican food.
In New York, in particular, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans make up a large percentage of the hispanic population. In fact, The Puerto Rican population of New York City is the largest outside Puerto Rico.
The hispanic breakdown of New York City is 9.4% Puerto Rican”, 3.6%” Mexican” .5% “Cuban” and all other hispanic groups make up 14.0%.
Actress Rosario Dawson, of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent, was born in New York. Singer Christina Aguilera was born in NYC as well.
Percent Hispanic: 19.7%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 16.8%
Percent Change: 20.2%
We don’t have to go too far to get to our next most hispanic state in America, New Jersey.
In New Jersey, 19.7%, or 1 in 5 residents is, Hispanic. New Jersey is 2.8% more hispanic than it was in 2010, the second biggest gain of any other state on this list.
The city of Perth Amboy, about 20 miles south of Newark, has the most hispanics in New Jersey, at 82%. Union City, just across the Lincoln Tunnel from Manhattan, is 80% hispanic.
Camden is 49% Hispanic, and Newark is 37% hispanic.
The leading website Wall St 24/7 did a report on the worst states in America for hispanics, and New Jersey ranked 8th. The study cited a low 34% hispanic home ownership rate in the Garden State, a higher than average unemployment rate for hispanics in the state, and noted New Jersey hispanics are three times higher than caucasians to be incarcerated.
Further, the economic disparity between hispanics and other races in New Jersey is higher than every state except Connecticut and Massachusetts
The northern part of Hudson County is nicknamed “Havana on the Hudson” for the large number of Cuban exiles and émigrés living there.
Paterson, which is 60% hispanic, is home to Little Lima, a Peruvian enclave in Downtown . Paterson, is considered by many to be the capital of the Peru outside of…Peru. There are also a large number of Bolivians in Paterson as well.
Percent Hispanic: 21.3%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 20.1%
Percent Change: 17.7%
Our next most hispanic state in America is…Colorado.
In Colorado, 21.2% of the population is Hispanic. Colorado is 1.2% more hispanic as a state, than it was in 2010.
North Denver suburb Federal Heights is the most hispanic city in the state at 60%. Pueblo is 52% hispanic. 1 in 3 residents in Denver, Colorado’s largest city, is hispanic.
40% of Colorado’s population under the age of 25 isn’t white.
According to an article in the Denver Post, the hispanic population is changing Colorado’s entire culture and economy. In many cases, rural counties in Colorado were seeing population declines, closed school districts and businesses. But the hispanic population’s growth has slowed those trends.
Mappy: ¿Sabías que Denver es el hogar de Chipotle?
Hey Mappy, nice hat! I did not know Chipotle started in Denver, but I have to say there are far better places to get a burrito.
Apparently, Denver is home to the best Mexican dish in the US. It’s called the Mexican Hamburger, and you can get it at a place called Chubby’s.
Mexican food is somewhat of a favorite among just about every single person in America. In fact, when polled as to which food they liked best, 97% of people said mexican food.(97 mexican 2 % asian, .7% cookie crisp cereal, .2% Mr T Cereal, .1% other.
And did you know tortillas were sold in cans in the 80s? That’s so random. Mexican food is actually healthy because it has the perfect blend of all food groups, including carbs, vegetables, legumes and proteins. At least, according to nutritionists.
When asked what Mexican dish was their favorite, Americans answered with a resounding Tacos.
It’ll be interesting to see how the Hispanic community continues to impact the culture and economy of Colorado. The US Census did a report, determining that Colorado’s hispanics as a whole are much younger than the rest of the state, less educated, less wealthy, and are experiencing a longer life expectancy than their fellow Coloradoans.
Percent Hispanic: 24.7%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 21.6%
Percent Change: 25.5%
Alright…Our 6th most Hispanic state in America is….Florida.
In Florida, 24.7% of the population – or 1 in 4 residents, is Hispanic, and growing. In fact, Florida is 3.1% more hispanic than it was in 2010, making it the fastest growing hispanic state in the US.
There are 4 cities in Miami Dade county with hispanic populations of 90% or more. Miami is 72% hispanic.
In New York City, the majority of the hispanic population is Puerto Rican, but that only comprises 10 percent of New York City’s total population. In Miami, 54% of the city is Cuban. About 13 percent of Miami-Dade’s Latinos are from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, and 32 percent are from other Central and South American countries such as Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras and Brazil.
66 percent of Miami’s Latinos are foreign born, a very high number.
Being so close to Cuba, Florida has always been the main destination for people fleeing Cuba, primarily for economic and political reasons. Many fled Cuba due to communist dictator Fidel Castro’s policies, and they continue to do so today. As such, about 2,000 cubans are captured trying to enter the US every year.
The US has capped the number of legal cuban citizens to join its citizenship at 20,000 per year.
According to census records, the most common hispanic male names are José Luis, Juan, Miguel, Ángel, José, Francisco, Jesús, Antonio, Alejandro and quesadillo. The most popular hispanic baby girl name is Sofia. Aw, so cute.
Famous Florida natives include Singer Gloria Estefan, Florida senator Marco Rubio, and Dora, an explorer.
Percent Hispanic: 28.2%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 25.6%
Percent Change: 20.8%
Moving on, we come to our 5th most hispanic state in America, Nevada
In Nevada, the hispanic population is nearly 4% higher than in Florida, at 28.2%. North Las Vegas is the most hispanic city in Nevada, at 40%. In Las Vegas, 1 in 3 residents is Hispanic. Nevada’s hispanic population has increased 2.6% since 2010.
Now, earlier, we talked about common hispanic stereotypes of hispanics, that persist today. One stereotype of hispanics is they are job stealers. According to the Nevada bureau of labor statistics, a significant majority of Nevada jobs are in the greater Las Vegas region, due to the city’s tourism industry. 22% of jobs in the tourism industry are occupied by hispanics.
27% of all construction industry jobs are occupied by hispanics, the largest percentage of all job catergories. 23% of all agriculture jobs are occupied by hispanics.
According to the US Census, 41% of the black population got government assistance in the last year, followed by 36% of hispanics and 13% of caucasians.
Another stereotype worth addressing is the fertility rate of the hispanic population. The hispanic population does have a far higher fertility rate than all four major races in America, and the hispanic population is growing 13.6% higher than the average american population.
Are hispanics more likely to be incarcerated than the average American citizen? The black population is far more likely to be incarcerated, and the hispanic population is far behind.
Percent Hispanic: 30.9%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 29.0%
Percent Change: 15.9%
Moving on, we’re going to look at our next most hispanic state in the US, Arizona. It’s likely the rest of our list will be along the US/Mexico border.
Arizona’s hispanic population is 30%, which is a 1.8% increase since 2010. The most hispanic cities in Arizona include Somerton, San Luis, and Nogales which all have hispanic populations over 96%. Phoenix has a 43% hispanic population.
History: Arizona was thinly colonized by Mexico in the 1840s, with little protection from much larger Indian population. The U.S. won the Mexican–American War (1846–1848) and in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), Mexico ceded to the U.S. a large land area, comprising parts of 10 states, including present day Arizona.
So, Arizona used to be Mexico back in the day. And while most of New York City’s hispanic population is Puerto Rican, and New Jersey has a large population of Peruvians, and Florida has a large number of Cubans, Arizona’s hispanic population is mostly… Mexican.
In 2003, for the first time, there were slightly more births to Hispanics in Arizona than births to non-Hispanic whites. But then the trend reversed in 2011, where hispanic births declined.
According to research, immigration enforcement along the US Mexico border was cited as the primary reason for the sudden decline in growth rate of Arizona’s hispanic population. Whether you’re on the side of enforcing the border wall, or you’re a proponent of letting in new immigrants into America, the data is clear: A border wall is an effective means to stop immigrants from coming into the US.
Lynda Carter aka Linda Jean Córdova Carter, was born in Phoenix. She was best known for portraying Wonder Woman. Labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez was born in Yuma.
Percent Hispanic: 38.8%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 36.7%
Percent Change: 12.3%
Our next most hispanic state in America is…California
California is 38.7% hispanic – a very large jump from any other state we’ve talked about so far, and twice as high as our first state, Illinois. There are 14 cities in California with hispanic populations greater than 95%, and five where the population is effectively 99% hispanic.
A large number of hispanic residents in California live along the US Mexico border, in Southern California in general, and along the central valley, an 500-mile long agriculture rich region stretching from Bakersfield to Redding.
This chart shows the rate of growth in the hispanic population in California. Nearly half of all births are hispanic in the last reporting year.
Mappy: ¿Sabías que el mariachi es la música mexicana más popular??
Thanks Mappy for chiming in. Many Southern California residents of course celebrate their mexican heritage by playing mariachi music, as well as Ranchera, Norteno, and Tejano. These are all mexico’s top musical styles.
Mexican food is a big deal in California. It’s home to Del Taco, possibly the world’s best Americanized mexican food chain. It’s also common knowledge that the fish tacos in San Diego are far less tasty than the burritos in San Bernardino.
Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya was born in East LA – America’s most hispanic city. Famous YouTuber Nick Johnson was born in Fontana. Actress Cameron Diaz was born in San Diego. Singer Jenni Rivera was born in Los Angeles. * Nick Johnson is 1% burrito at this point
Percent Hispanic: 38.9%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 36.7%
Percent Change: 19.7%
We’re going to go to our next most hispanic state in America…Texas. The state of texas is 39% hispanic, which is 2.2% more hispanic than it was in 2010. There are 6 cities along the Texas/Mexico border where the hispanic population is effectively 100%, including Hidalgo Texas.
Houston is 44% hispanic, Dallas is 42% hispanic, and El Paso is 80% hispanic. According to the census, In texas, Hispanics accounted for nearly half of all births.
Now, there’s a TON of history that would take a whole video up on its own about the rich history of hispanics here in the Texas area. You should Google It.
Of course, while California has its style of burritos, Texas has its version of Mexican food, called Tex Mex, which, while popular among Texans, is far less delicious.
Singer Selena Quintanilla was born in Lake Jackson, Texas. Actress Eva Longoria was born in Corpus Christi. Texas senator Ted Cruz was born in… Canada.
Percent Hispanic: 48.2%
Percent Hispanic 2010: 45.4%
Percent Change: 9.9%
And where’s our most hispanic state in the US? Oops wrong one. Its New Mexico. New Mexico is 48% hispanic, which is a 2.7% increase since 2010. Albuquerque is 50% hispanic. Every city with a population over 5,000 residents is at least a quarter hispanic here.
While California has by far the highest number of hispanics in America, New Mexico has the nation’s largest percentage of hispanic residents in relation to its states total population (have it). And nearly 1 in 3 residents of New Mexico speaks Spanish at home.
Spanish settlers first came into New Mexico in 1598, and for a long time, New Mexico was under Spanish and Mexican control until the 1848.
Labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta was born in Dawson, New Mexico.
There You Have It — The States With The Largest Hispanic Populations in the US
Now, as the demographics continue to change in New Mexico, and in the other states we talked about today, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the American population adjusts. Researchers have noted that native born hispanics are becoming more assimilated to the traditional American population, and are slowly losing their native identity, with each new generation.
By the year 2050, it’s expected the hispanic population will be a quarter of the total population in America.
Hopefully you’ve learned a lot in this book report, and have a newfound appreciation for the hispanic culture.
If you’re wondering, these are the states with the least number of hispanics in America:
- West Virginia
For more reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Most Hispanic States In America For 2019