According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, Hispanics accounted for more than half – a whopping 54 percent – of total population growth in the U.S. from 2000 to 2014.
The Hispanic population in the United States reached 57 million in 2015, up from 55.4 million in 2014.
The Pew report said Hispanics now make up about 17 percent of the entire population in the U.S., a factor that is certain to change the electoral, political and social demographics of the country.
Geographically, Hispanics have begun to disperse across the U.S., but the highest populations are still in the south and along the coasts.
The Pew report states that due to rapid population growth and geographic dispersion, a number of changes have occurred in the nation. By 2012, in 17 states, the kindergarten student population was at least 20% Hispanic.
And the growing and dispersing Latino population has led to rising electoral influence of Latino voters in recent elections as the number eligible to vote has grown in many battleground states such as Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and North Carolina, even though Latino voters are largely concentrated in non-battleground states like California and Texas.
Ironically, the fastest-growing counties by Hispanic population since 2007 are in North Dakota, where thousands have gone to work due to a boom in oil production.
The five states with the largest Hispanic populations in 2014 are:
California at 15 million, which is 39% of the state’s population.
Texas had 10.4 million, again 39% of the state’s population.
Florida (4.8 million), which was 24% of the state’s population.
New York (3.7 million), 19% of the state’s population.
Illinois (2.2 million), 17% of the state’s population.
Together, those five states make up 65% of all Hispanics in the country.
New Mexico had 1 million Latinos in 2014, but it was a full 48% of the entire population of the state.
More than half (53%) of the entire Hispanic population in America lived in just 15 metropolitan areas in 2014, with Los Angeles at the top of the list.
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