Hispanic population reaches new high of nearly 60 million

Hispanic population reaches new high of nearly 60 million
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The Hispanic population in the United States grew by 1.2 million people from 2017 to 2018, reaching 59.9 million in 2018, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau figures.

Hispanics in the United States now account for 18 percent of the population, up from 16 percent 10 years ago, according to the report.

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The demographic group's rapid growth over the past decade slowed somewhat in recent years, but still outpaces whites and African Americans, and lags only behind the Asian American demographic growth.

While the Hispanic population grew on average 3.4 percent each year from 2005 to 2010, its growth has slowed to about 2 percent a year from 2015 to 2018.

Over the same period, the white population has remained stable, while the African American population has grown by less than 1 percent, and the Asian American population has grown by 2.8 percent.

Regionally, the Hispanic population has grown most quickly in the South, both proportionately and in absolute numbers.

Over the past decade, the South's Hispanic population has grown by 33 percent, adding 5.6 million people. Comparatively, the West has seen the lowest relative growth, 19 percent, adding 3.8 million to an already sizable Hispanic constituency.

The Northeast saw the second-largest proportional regional growth — 25 percent from 2008 to 2018 — adding 1.6 million people to its Latino population, and the Midwest saw a growth of 24 percent, adding 1.1 million people.

Hispanic population growth overall was slowed by a decrease in Mexican migration to the United States but spurred in the states by internal migration from Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Caribbean territory had been losing residents to the mainland long before Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, mostly due to sustained economic stagnation.

Overall, Puerto Rico has lost about 15 percent of its population to the states since 2008, accounting for an overall drop to 3.2 million inhabitants from a high of 3.8 million.