Press "Enter" to skip to content

Latino population growth outstrips nation’s population increase

The release of new census data Thursday kicks off a redistricting process that will test the clout of Latino activists and the ability of Republican leaders to hold on to power in the face of changing demographics


WASHINGTON, D.C. New U.S. census data released on Thursday 12, show the white population declined for the first time in history last decade, with significant increases among people who identify as multi-racial, Hispanic and Asian driving much of the population growth between 2010 and 2020.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund today released the following statement from CEO Arturo Vargas and preliminary analysis on the Census Bureau’s release of Census 2020 redistricting data:

As was the case in 2010, these data reveal how the growth of the Latino community has been integral to the increase in the United States’ population.  With Latinos continuing to be the nation’s second-largest population group — and a greater share of the nation’s population — it remains abundantly clear that for the nation to thrive and prosper, we must address the issues that affect Latinos throughout the country“.

The redistricting data also suggest that Latino population growth likely had a significant impact on apportionment, with Latinos being instrumental in some states securing additional congressional seats, helping states keep the number of seats they currently have, and preventing states from losing seats“.  

The release from the U.S. Census Bureau also marks the start of what will be a fierce partisan battle over redistricting, as states use the local data to begin drawing congressional and state legislative districts for the next 10 years.

Given the growth of the Latino population, it is critical that as states and localities move forward with redistricting, their maps take this growth into account, ensuring that Latinos have fair opportunities to elect candidates who are responsive and accountable to their needs“.

The 2020 Census confirmed what we have known for years: the future of the country is Latino.  The 2020 Census shows that slightly more than one in four children under 18-years-old was Latino (25.7 percent). 

The data offered a portrait of an increasingly diverse nation. The non-Hispanic white population, which remains the largest race or ethnic group, shrank by 8.6% over the decade and now accounts for 57.8% of the U.S. population – the lowest share on record.

Together with the 2020 Census revealing greater overall diversity throughout the nation, this trend bodes well for the economic, cultural, and civic life of the United States“.

NALEO Educational Fund continues to analyze the data to determine if there are other trends of interest.  We will also continue our advocacy to ensure Latinos have a strong voice in the redistricting process at all levels of government“.  

For the first time as a U.S. state, California’s largest ethnic group is Hispanic, at 39.4% of the population, according to the data. In Texas, another large state, the non-Hispanic white population stood at 39.7%, just slightly larger than the Hispanic population at 39.3%.

Ultimately, the maps that emerge must provide the community with fair representation and our nation with a more robust democracy“, Vargas finished.

Preliminary Analysis

  • Latinos comprise nearly one of every five of our nation’s residents (18.7 percent), up from 16.3 percent in 2010.
    • The Latino population grew from 50.5 million (50,477,594) in 2010 to 62.1 million (62,080,044) in 2020.  This represents an increase of 11.6 million (11,602,450).
  • While the nation’s population increased between 2010 and 2020, the Latino population increase accounted for over half (51.1 percent) of the nation’s overall growth — establishing Latinos as one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation.
    • Between 2010 and 2020, the Latino population grew by 23.0 percent.  In comparison, the nation’s overall population grew by 7.4 percent in the same period.
  • The Latino share of the population in several states increased significantly between 2010 and 2020.
    • For states with significant Latino populations, the Latino share of the population in 2020 ranged from 8.1 percent (Pennsylvania) to 47.7 percent (New Mexico). (See Table 1)

Table 1
Latino Population, Latino Population Change, and Latino Share of Total Population for Selected States. 

 Latino Population Latino Population
% Change         
 Latino share of total population
 200020102020 2000-20102010-2020 20102020
United States35,305,81850,477,59462,080,044 43.0%23.0% 16.3%18.7%
Arizona1,295,6171,895,1492,192,253 46.3%15.7% 29.6%30.7%
California10,966,55614,013,71915,579,652 27.8%11.2% 37.6%39.4%
Colorado735,6011,038,6871,263,390 41.2%21.6% 20.7%21.9%
Florida2,682,7154,223,8065,697,240 57.4%34.9% 22.5%26.5%
Georgia435,227853,6891,123,457 96.1%31.6% 8.8%10.5%
Illinois1,530,2622,027,5782,337,410 32.5%15.3% 15.8%18.2%
Nevada393,970716,501890,257 81.9%24.3% 26.5%28.7%
New Jersey1,117,1911,555,1442,002,575 39.2%28.8% 17.7%21.6%
New Mexico765,386953,4031,010,811 24.6%6.0% 46.3%47.7%
New York2,867,5833,416,9223,948,032 19.2%15.5% 17.6%19.5%
North Carolina378,963800,1201,118,596 111.1%39.8% 8.4%10.7%
Pennsylvania394,088719,6601,049,615 82.6%45.8% 5.7%8.1%
Texas6,669,6669,460,92111,441,717 41.8%20.9% 37.6%39.3%
(Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 and 2010, Summary File 1; Census 2020 “legacy” redistricting data release)

For many states, the Latino population grew faster than the overall population, and in at least one case (Illinois), the Latino population increased while the state’s overall population decreased.

Latino population growth had a significant impact on the apportionment of congressional seats in these states listed above — helping some gain more seats, or preventing the loss or greater loss of seats. (See Table 2)

California loses Congressional seat for first time

For the first time in its 171-year history, California’s political voice is about to get a little quieter.

After months of delay, the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday released new population estimates for each state. The bad news for California: It loses a seat in Congress, down from 53 House districts to 52.

Table 2
Changes in Total and Latino Population 2010 – 2020 and Apportionment for Selected States.

 Total population increase/decrease
Latino population increase/decrease
 Latino % of total population change Change in U.S. House seats after 2020 apportionment
United States7.4%23.0% 51.1% N/A
Arizona11.9%15.7% 39.1% No change
California6.1%11.2% 68.6% -1
Colorado14.8%21.6% 30.2% +1
Florida14.6%34.9% 53.8% +1
Georgia10.6%31.6% 26.3% No change
Illinois-0.1%15.3% * -1
Nevada15.0%24.3% 43.0% No change
New Jersey5.7%28.8% 90.0% No change
New Mexico2.8%6.0% 98.4% No change
New York4.2%15.5% 64.5% -1
North Carolina9.5%39.8% 35.2% +1
Pennsylvania2.4%45.8% 109.9% -1
Texas15.9%20.9% 49.5% +2
(Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010, Summary File 1; Census 2020 apportionment and “legacy” redistricting data releases)

*State experienced overall population decrease, making this percentage not applicable.