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Hispanic Market FAQs

Hispanics are an ethnically and racially diverse population. In 2005, the Latino population on the U.S. mainland was composed of Mexican American s (64%), Puerto Ricans (10%), Cubans (3%), Salvadorans (3%), and Dominicans (3%). The remainders are of some other Central American, South American, or other Hispanic or Latino origins (17%).
In 2004, approximately 40% of Hispanics were foreign-born. The majority of Latinos in the U.S. are native-born; about seven out of every ten Hispanics residing in the U.S. were either native or naturalized citizens, compared to more than nine out of every ten people in the total population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2005, 88% of Hispanics under age 18 were born in the U.S.
More than half (53%) of the foreign-born population residing in the United States comes from Latin America, equaling 18.3 million people. Of those, ten million were born in Mexico. Other countries of birth that contribute large numbers of Hispanics are El Salvador (937,000), Cuba (925,000), the Dominican Republic (688,000), Guatemala (590,000), and Colombia (500,000).
Since 1990, the Hispanic population has grown much faster than the U.S. population as a whole, a trend projected to continue in future decades. Between 1990 and 2000, the Hispanic population grew by 57.9%, compared to a nationwide rate of growth of 13.2%. The most recent population projections indicate that by 2050, the Latino population will total roughly 102.6 million people or 24%.
Nearly half of the U.S. Hispanic population lives in California or Texas (49%); California is home to 12.4 million Hispanics, and Texas is home to 7.8 million. Thirteen states have at least half a million Hispanic residents: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington.
In 2005, the median age for Hispanics was 27.2 years, compared to 36.2 years for the total population. More than one-third of the Hispanic population was younger than 18, compared to approximately onefourth of the total population. Additionally, in 2006, approximately 5.4% of the Hispanic population was 65 and older, compared to 12% of the total population.
A large portion of the Hispanic population participates in the labor force. In 2005, 68% of the Hispanic population 16 years old and over were in the labor force, which was slightly higher than the levels of participation for the total U.S. population. Despite comparable rates of labor force participation among these groups, Hispanics experienced an unemployment rate (5.3%) in August 2006 that was higher than that for the total U.S. population (4.7%).
Hispanic population is represented in a wide variety of occupations. For instance, in 2005 there were 38,500 Hispanic physicians and surgeons; 50,400 Hispanic postsecondary teachers; 53,400 chief executives of businesses; 38,100 lawyers; and 5,000 news analysts, reporters, and correspondents. In 2006, less than one in five (18%) Hispanics work in managerial, professional, and related occupations. However, Hispanics are disproportionately employed in service and support occupations. One in four (24%) work in service occupations; 22% in sales and office jobs; 15% in construction, extraction, and maintenance jobs; and 19% in production, transportation, and material-moving occupations.
The real median income of Hispanic households in 2005, statistically unchanged from the previous year, was $35,967. In 2005, the poverty rate among Latinos was 21.8%, statistically unchanged from 2004, compared to 8.3% for Whites.
The number of Hispanic-owned businesses is rising dramatically. There were 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses in 2002, up 31% from 1997. Their receipts were $226.5 billion, up 22% from 1997. A total of 199,725 such firms had paid employees, with receipts of $184 billion, or about $921,090 per firm. About 40% of Hispanic-owned firms were in administrative support and waste management, health care, and other service industries, with another 13% in construction. Hispanic-owned firms claimed between 15% and 22% of businesses in New Mexico, Texas, Florida, and California.
The majority of Hispanic households are married-couple families (67%). Of those families, 44% have children under the age of 18. As of July 1, 2005, 22% of the Hispanic population was under the age of five. Hispanics had a higher concentration of preschoolers among their population than any other race or ethnic group.
Most Latinos are renters, and Hispanics have relatively low homeownership rates overall. In 2005, approximately 49.5% of Hispanics were homeowners, compared to 75.8% of Whites and 48.2% of Blacks
The Latino community faces a number of significant health challenges and disparities. Hispanic health is often shaped by factors such as lack of health insurance, language/cultural barriers, and lack of access to preventive care. Data indicate that, as of 2002, heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Latinos (24%), followed by cancer (20%), unintentional injuries (8%), cerebrovascular disease (6%), and diabetes (5%). Other health conditions and risk factors that significantly affect Hispanics are asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, suicide, and liver disease. The 2005 National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR), a comprehensive overview of disparities in health care in the U.S. among racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, found that while disparities in access were becoming smaller for other racial and ethnic groups, Hispanics had worse access to care than non-Hispanic Whites for 88% of the core measures used in the report. By virtually any standard, U.S. Latinos experience severe disparities in comparison to their White counterparts.
Across all age groups, Latinos are substantially more likely than non-Hispanic Whites or African Americans to lack health insurance. Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that the uninsured rate for Latinos was 32.7% in 2005, compared to 11.3% for non-Hispanic Whites and 19.6% for African Americans; all are statistically unchanged from 2004.