Photo: Pew Center
After four decades of rapid growth, the number of Latino immigrants in the U.S. reached a record 18.8 million in 2010, but has since stalled, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
Between 1980 and 2000, immigration was the main driver of Latino population growth. However since 2000, the primary source of growth has swung from immigration to native births, as the U.S.-born Latino population grew faster than the Latino immigrant population. As a result, the share of foreign-born Latinos was 35.5% in 2012, down from about 40% earlier in the 2000s.
Even as the share of Latino immigrants decreases, rapid growth in the number of Latino births means the Latino population will continue to grow at a steady clip. U.S. births alone accounted for 60% of Latino population growth between 2000 and 2010.
These opposing trends-the rise of the U.S.-born and the slowdown in immigrant population growth-have begun to reshape the adult Hispanic population. Just as the slowdown in immigration has occurred, the number of U.S.-born Hispanics entering adulthood is beginning to accelerate. Today, some 800,000 young U.S.-born Hispanics enter adulthood each year, but in the coming decades, that number will rise to more than a million annually.
Accompanying this report are a statistical portrait of the nation’s Hispanic population and a statistical portrait of the nation’s foreign-born population. Both are based on the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey and feature detailed characteristics of each population at the national level, as well as state population totals. Topics covered include age, citizenship, origin, language proficiency, living arrangements, marital status, fertility, schooling, health insurance coverage, and employment.
Read the report
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. Its Hispanic Trends Project, founded in 2001, seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation.