September 21, 2023

A quarter of all children in the US are Latino, according to US censuses

A recent data analysis from the 2020 Census shows that the number of Latino children in the US has grown by more than 1 million in a 10-year period.

The analysis, conducted by the US Census Bureau, provides additional insight into the US population and how it has changed since the last census in 2010. Researchers found that 25.7% (18.8 million) of all US children under the age of 18 years of Latino descent was in 2020, up from 23.1% (17.1 million) in 2010.

Florida had the largest gain in the number of underage Latinos, with 259,931 children in the period studied. New Jersey and Maryland followed at a distance, with 105,575 and 89,159 additions, respectively.

Maryland tied Connecticut with the largest overall percentage point increase at 6.5%, while Rhode Island saw the third largest jump at 6.2%.

Despite the increase in the total number of Latino children, the total population of children in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island declined.

The Latino population also saw an increase in their overall median age to 30 years old, an increase of 2.7 years from 2010. The median age of non-Hispanics also grew, but less: they reached a median of 41, 1 year in 2020, an increase of 1.5 years from 2010.

In Puerto Rico, the average Latino age increased by 13 years from 2000 to 2020, from 32.1 to 45.1. During the same period, the median age of Latinos in the rest of the country increased by only 4.2 years, from 25.8 to 30 years.

Shifts in the median age of the Latino population over the decade studied also varied by race.

The median age of all respondents who chose “Two or more races” in the 2020 census was the youngest at 29.5 years. Latino respondents who chose the “Two or more races” option were the most old in the past decade, with the oldest median age of all Latinos by race group at 31.3, an increase of 10.8 years from 2010 .

The youngest segment among Latino groups was that of people who identified as “Black Alone.” They saw the largest median drop in age, to 21.9 years: 2.1 years less than in 2010.

“Comparisons between race data in the 2020 and 2010 censuses should be made with caution, considering improvements to Hispanic ancestry and race questions in how answers were coded in the 2020 census,” the report said.

The 2020 census questions related to Hispanic or Latino ancestry and race have been revised based on feedback and research. They include an updated “write-in” option and increases in processing and encryption capabilities.

The new two-part question asks if a person’s ethnicity is Hispanic or Latino and then asks what their race is (the Hispanic or Latino option is not given). The Biden administration is considering combining questions for the next U.S. Census in 2030 to allow people to choose Hispanic or Latino as their race.

There is some evidence that the current two-part question confuses many people for whom race and ethnicity are indistinguishable. The Census Bureau found that 42% of Hispanics marked “Some Other Race” in the 2020 Census. A third selected two or more racial groups and 20% chose white as their race, the Pew Research Center reported in 2021.

Latinos in all regions of the U.S. saw a decline in self-reporting as “White Alone,” but Latinos in the South experienced the sharpest decline: from 62.9% in 2010 to 23.2% in 2020. Latinos describe themselves as being of ” Two or more races” were the largest group among the South’s Hispanic population surveyed at 37.9%.

Latinos in the Northeast reported the largest increase when selecting the “Another Race” category at 48.2%, up from 38.3% in 2010. And those who reported as “Only Black or African-American” or “Black only” fell the most in the Northeast, from 7.2% to 4.8%.

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