Three Key Facts You Should Know About Latinos This Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month Latinos in the US BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Although the celebration of Hispanic Heritage is something we should be conscious of all year long, this September 15 coincides with the national independence days of several Latin American countries, which led Congress to mark this week as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968.

Beyond ideological controversies, we want to highlight three key facts about the growth and development of our community in the United States in recent years, based on figures from the Pew Research Center.

The U.S. Hispanic population reached 62.1 million in 2020

The Pew Research Center found the U.S. Hispanic population will reach 62.1 million in 2020, up from 50.5 million in 2010. The 23% increase in the Hispanic population was faster than the nation’s growth rate (+7%) but a slower increase than that of the Asian population (+36%). By 2020, Hispanics will constitute nearly one in five people in the United States (19%), up from 16% in 2010 and only 5% in 1970.

Hispanics have played an important role in driving U.S. population growth over the past decade. The U.S. population grew by 22.7 million people between 2010 and 2020, with Hispanics accounting for 51% of this increase, a larger share than any other racial or ethnic group.

Latino population Pew BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of the Pew Research Center.

Today, most Latinos consider themselves multiracial

The number of Latinos who claim to be multiracial has increased dramatically. More than 20 million Latinos identified with more than one race in the 2020 census, up from only 3 million in 2010.

The growth in multiracial Latinos comes primarily from those who identify as white and “some other race” (i.e., those who write in response to the race question), a population that grew from 1.6 million to 17.0 million over the past decade. At the same time, the number of Latinos who identify as white and of no other race declined from 26.7 million to 12.6 million.

The rate of Latinas enrolled in college increased exponentially

The number of Latinos enrolled in college also increased from 2010 to 2019, from 2.9 million to 3.6 million. In 2019, women made up a significantly larger proportion of Latino college students than men, 56% versus 44%. (There is a gender gap in college enrollment among all racial groups.) Among all U.S. college students, the share of Latinos enrolled in college increased from 14% in 2010 to 19% in 2019.