10 Lesser Known Facts About America’s Hispanics

By Victoria Simpson 

Hispanics in the US own their own home, and they have the fastest growing homeownership rate of any ethnic group in the country.

The Hispanic population in the US is the largest minority group in the country. Impressively, this population is also one of the largest Hispanic groups in the world, coming second only to that of Mexico. Non-Hispanics in the US may tend to homogenize this collective but Hispanic people living in the country actually form a diverse group, hailing from many different walks of life, cultural backgrounds, and home countries. While the number of people with Hispanic background who are born in the US is rising, many still immigrate from abroad. Hispanics in the US come mostly from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Spain, Ecuador, and Peru. Under this large umbrella, as with all ethnicities, there are widely varying levels of education, wealth, and age.

Do you feel like an expert on Hispanic Americans? Here are ten things to know about this group that you might come as a surprise to you.

10. People from Mexico Form Just Over Half the Total Hispanic Population in the US

The US Hispanic population is large, clocking in at about 58,838,000 at the time of this writing. Mexican Americans garner much of the media attention in the US when it comes to Hispanics, but it is a fact that this sub-group consists of just about 60% of all Hispanics in the US. Puerto Ricans who have come to live in the continental US form the second largest subgroup of Hispanics in the country.

9. An Overwhelming Majority are US Citizens

Much is said about illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican-US border, but the truth is, the vast majority of Hispanics in the US are American citizens. Almost 80% of Hispanics in the country can vote as Americans (79%), and many of them- about seven in ten, according to Pew Research Center-feel the government is responsible for ensuring all Americans have health care coverage, and 79% are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The median household income for Hispanic Americans in 2020, according to Statistica.com, is $51,450. That of all people living in the US in 2018 is reported to have been about $74,600. It is clear to see that Hispanics in the US have a much lower median annual income, and part of this could be because in 2018, just 19% of CEOs in the country were Hispanic or Latino.

Asian Americans earned the highest median annual income in the US in 2018 at $87,194, Caucasians came in second at $70,642, and Black Americans earned a median annual income of $41,361.

7. About Half Are Homeowners

White Americans form the largest group of homeowners in the US with about 73% of all individuals in this group owning the rights to their living space. Hispanics come in third as a home owning group with 47.4% owning their own place. This number is growing quickly, however. The Wall Street Journal states that Hispanic buyers in the US have the fastest growing homeownership rate of any ethnic group in the country even though this portion of the population was hit hard by the housing bust. 

6. Hispanics Live in Poverty at Higher Rates Than the Average American

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2018 about 20% of all hispanics in the country were living in poverty and without health insurance. This is much higher than the overall US poverty rate which sits at about 12%. With the current minimum wage set at $7.25 per hour in the US, a person working 40 hours per week would earn at a maximum of $15, 080 per year. Depending on where you live in the US, this may be below the poverty guideline.

5. More Than Half of Hispanic Americans Live in Just 3 States

Hispanic people live all across the US, but the majority of them can be found in just a few areas. California, Texas, and Florida are home to over 50% of all Hispanics in the country. About 26% of all Hispanic Americans live in California, Texas is home to 19%, and Florida is home to about 9%.

4. Venezuelan Americans Hold the Most Bachelor’s Degrees

About 16% of Hispanic or Latino adults in the US are said to have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. In the US population as a whole, about 32% of people have earned the same. Of all Hispanics in the US, those with a Venezuelan background earn the most bachelor degrees and other post-secondary degrees (55%), and people from Argentina come in second with 43% having earned a bachelor degree or higher.

3. People from Spain and Panama Are Most Proficient in English

The vast majority of Hispanic people in the US are proficient en English, with 71% being able to get by well in the language. Those hailing from Spain and Panama have the highest rates of English proficiency with 93% and 87% respectively. Hondurans and Guatemalans have the lowest rates of English proficiency at 48%, which could possibly be attributed to the lower rate of availability of English language learning classes in these home countries, compared with Spain and Panama.

2. Argentinian Americans Have the Highest Income Levels

Argentinian Americans can also brag about having the highest income levels of all Hispanic Americans. The average median household income for this group was $68,000, which is almost $20,000 higher than the median Latino annual income in general, which is $49,010.

1. Most Hispanics Want Stricter Gun Laws

Many Hispanics who come to live in the US are eager to leave behind countries that have high levels of violence and corruption in society. These individuals may not only be seeking a chance to live at a higher income level in the US, but moreover, they could often also be looking for a safer place to live. In light of this, it may not be surprising to learn that a majority favor stricter gun laws. According to Pew Research Center, about seven in ten Hispanic voters (68%) say they feel gun laws in the US should be stricter than they are. Just 7% of people in this group feel the gun laws should be weaker.