The Hispanic/Latino population in California grew at a substantially slower clip over the past decade than in the rest of the nation, according to figures released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
From 2000 to 2010, the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population grew 43 percent to nearly 50.5 million. More than half the nation's total population growth during this decade was due to the increase in the Hispanic/Latino population, which represents 16.3 percent of the country.
During the same time, California added about 3 million Hispanics or Latinos – an increase of nearly 28 percent. Still, at 14 million, California has the largest Hispanic/Latino population in the country.*
U.S. Census BureauPercent distribution of the Hispanic/Latino population by state in 2010. Click to enlarge.
In the 2010 U.S. Census, "Hispanic or Latino" referred to people of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Nationwide, population growth varied by group, with the number of people of Mexican origin increasing by 54 percent. Puerto Ricans grew by 36 percent, and Cubans by 44 percent. Hispanics or Latinos of other origins increased by 22 percent.
More than 11.4 million Mexicans – 36 percent – lived in California last year. California was also home to more Guatemalans, Salvadorans and other Hispanic/Latino groups than was any other state.
Hispanics or Latinos were the majority of the population in 82 of the country's 3,143 counties – including nine in California: Imperial, Monterey, San Benito, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kings, Tulare and Colusa.
They were also the majority of the population in 17 California cities and neighborhoods: Inglewood (51 percent), Anaheim (53 percent), West Covina (53 percent), Moreno Valley (54 percent), Palmdale (54 percent), Chula Vista (58 percent), San Bernardino (60 percent), Fontana (67 percent), Ontario (69 percent), El Monte (69 percent), Norwalk (70 percent), Pomona (71 percent), Downey (70.7 percent), Oxnard (73.5 percent), Salinas (75 percent) and Santa Ana (78.2 percent).
The place with the largest proportion of Hispanics or Latinos? East Los Angeles, population 126,496, where 97.1 percent of residents in 2010 were Hispanic or Latino. Outside Puerto Rico, East LA had the largest proportion of Hispanics or Latinos of any place in the U.S. of more than 100,000 people.
*Correction: An earlier version of this story said California's Hispanic/Latino population was about 34 million. There are about 14 million Hispanics/Latinos in the state.