US States With The Largest Relative Hispanic And Latino Populations

Based on statistics from Pew Research's Hispanic Center data, the Southwestern US continues to have the greatest numbers of Latinos and Hispanics.

The largest numbers of Hispanics and Latinos currently living in the US can be found in 10 US states. Namely, these are Florida, Texas, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona. Combined, these states have about 74% of the country's Hispanic and Latino population. Although the figure has dropped a bit due to migration into other parts of the nation, their concentration remains the highest in the Southwestern region of the US. Therein, metropolitan areas have the larger share in comparison to the rural areas. These Hispanic and Latino groups trace their roots from several Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and El Salvador. A small number originate from other countries, including some from South America, as well. Cultural influences and socioeconomic dynamics play a large part in the lives of Hispanic and Latino families living in the US today. The Spanish language is held crucial as a uniting aspect for all Hispanic and Latino families in the US. It is also seen as an important factor in the future career and business opportunities of the Hispanic youth. Socioeconomic dynamics are another important factor in determining the success of Hispanic and Latino families in the US. With the right college degree and work ethics, Hispanic and Latino Americans are able to reach the status of white employees in the country. Hispanic immigrants that arrived earlier in the US than the 1960s had attained higher occupational scores than today, although the length of years in the US ca not be said to be a deciding factor for success in this regard.

10. Illinois (16%)

Illinois has a proportion of about 16% Hispanic and Latino ancestry among its total population. Hispanic and Latino students in the state of Illinois have a graduation rate of 36%, compared to 52% among white students. In 1991, the Hispanic Center of Excellence was founded as a way for Hispanic high school students to enter medical schools to address the lack of Latino doctors. Other programs were also established to help Latino students in Illinois to stay in school and earn a college degree. For the most part, Latinos in Illinois either belong to the Protestant Christian faith or the Roman Catholic faith. There are other religious organizations that have a smaller following among Latinos and Hispanics in Illinois as well. Many of Illinois's Latinos are centered around Metropolitan Chicago and other large urban areas in the state.

9. New Jersey (18%)

New Jersey counts 18% of its population as belonging to the Hispanic and Latino heritage. Hispanics of non-Mexican origin account for 86% of its Latino population, while only 14% are of Mexican descent. Hispanics have an annual earning of $24,000 USD on average in the state. Enrollment of all K-12 students is constituted by a share of about 22% Latinos in New Jersey. Recent surveys about religious affiliations have seen a trend among Hispanic youth who switch to other religions from Catholicism, or choose to practice no religion at all. Hispanics in New Jersey have a 29% graduation rate, compared to white students at 47%.

8. New York (18%)

New York has about 18% of its population having Hispanic and Latino ancestry, and Spanish is spoken by about 13.61% of its total population. Religious affiliations surveys found that 74% of these belonged to Christian sect. Furthermore, Roman Catholics were the largest New Yorker Hispanic religious groups at 39%, several Protestant denominations collectively amounted to 32%, Jewish at 6%, Muslim at 1%, and Buddhist at 1%. Hispanics and Latinos first concerns are often for high educational aims, though socioeconomic status and resources act as hindrances that ultimately stop many of them from achieving their goals. Mexican-Americans fall into the lowest educational attainment categories in New York, while Cuban-Americans are more likely to finish high school. Students belonging to other Hispanic Latino groups have college degrees in larger numbers.

7. Colorado (21%)

Colorado has about 21% of its population with Hispanic and Latino ancestry and, of these, Mexicans account for 78% of the Hispanics in the state of Colorado. Coloradoan Hispanics' annual incomes are about $22,000 USD on average. The Colorado Department of Higher Education reports that Hispanic males are not likely to enroll in college, and drop outs are common in those who do enroll. The main reason is economics and a lack of support networks, such as social and peer support. There are many religious affiliations in Colorado, such as Roman Catholics, Episcopalian, American Orthodox, Buddhism, Eastern Orthodox, Latter Day Saints, Protestants, and Christian Science.

6. Florida (23%)

Florida counts a 23% Hispanic and Latino American proportion as part of its population, and Spanish is spoken by about 20% of its populace though English is the official language of Florida. Its public education system has required its teachers to be trained in ESL (English as a Second Language), a program for teaching English to non-English speakers. Religious affiliations in Florida show that the Protestants have the largest following, with the Baptist and Methodist denominations taking up especially large spots in religious life. American English is also spoken by Hispanics in Florida, with many different accents, depending on where they or their parents originated.

5. Nevada (27%)

Nevada has about 27% of its population claiming Latino and Hispanic ancestry, and Spanish is spoken by about 16.19% of its population. Most Hispanics who arrived in the state in the 1990s are employed in Las Vegas, and many of these later arrivals are part of the construction and farming labor force. Both the white and Latino communities in the state of Nevada have produced an equal proportion of college graduates, although this is still well below the national average. Religious affiliation in the state of Nevada shows that 25% belong to the Roman Catholic faith. Protestantism has about 35% of the followers, while 28% have no religious affiliations at all.

4. Arizona (30%)

Arizona has about a 30% share of Hispanic and Latino people among those living in the state. Its Hispanic communities have largely remained connected to their predominantly Mexican ties. A recent survey showed that about 20.80% of people spoke Spanish in Arizona. Catholicism has the most followers there, followed by Evangelical Christians. Hispanic students lag behind white students by about 21.2% in Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards tests. Studies show that only one in 10 Latino adults there have finished college. The number of Hispanic students also outnumber white students in Arizona's school systems by 17,000.

3. Texas (38%)

Texas is in third place, with about 38% Hispanics and Latinos among its total population. The state's official language is English, but government websites are required to have Spanish translations as well, and Spanish is spoken by about 29.21% of Texans. Religious organizations are mainly Evangelical Protestant, but there are Roman Catholics, Mainline Protestants, Jewish, and Orthodox followers there as well. Roman Catholicism has the most followers in the state. Tex-Mex has also come to Texan cuisine, with its combination of American and Mexican food traditions. Dallas and Houston schools have recently seen an increase of Latino students versus white students, although 40% of Latino students failed to finish high school, versus the much smaller eight percent rate among white students.

2. California (38%)

California comes in second, with about a 38% proportion of Latino and Hispanic people among its population. Spanish is considered the second language of the state, with the Los Angeles, San Diego, Imperial, and the San Joaquin Valley Latino populations speaking the language in everyday life. San Francisco and its suburbs have their own share of Hispanics and Latinos as well. "Californios", as they are sometimes called, are also present in Mariposa County, many of whom are descendants of Spanish-Mexicans even before the the US annexation of California. English is the official language, but Spanish is included in most of the state's government documents, forms, and services.

1. New Mexico (47%)

New Mexico has the largest Hispanic population, of about 47% of those living in the state being Latino. They come from all over Latin America, though research shows that many are descendants of the original Spanish and Mexican settlers in the area. New Mexico has a bilingual constitution, though the US Constitution does not provide for a bilingual state. Still, the state has provisions for a bilingual educational system. A high number of New Mexico's youth have not finished high school, and only about 23.9% have entered college but not graduated. A unique version of Americanized Spanish is spoken by many Latinos in the state.

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