Characteristics of the 60 Largest Hispanic Metropolitan Areas

In 50 of the Top 60, Mexican-Origin Hispanics are the Largest Hispanic Group

Nearly half (45%) of the nation’s Hispanic population lives in just 10 metropolitan areas and more than three-in-four (76%) live in 60 of the largest Hispanic metropolitan areas, according to an analysis of 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

TheLos Angeles,California, metropolitan area has the nation’s largest Hispanic population—5.7 million—and alone accounts for more than one-in-ten (11%) Hispanics nationally. The New York-Northeastern New Jersey metropolitan area is the second largest by Hispanic population (4.2 million) and is home to 8% of Hispanics nationwide. Overall, 10 metropolitan areas have one million or more Hispanic residents.

In addition, the Pew Hispanic analysis finds that in 13 of the 60 metropolitan areas, Hispanics are a majority of all residents. In two—Laredo,Texas, andMcAllen,Texas—the Hispanic population share is above 90%.

The Hispanic origin composition in the top 60 metropolitan areas also varies. InMiami-the seventh largest Hispanic metropolitan population-Cubans make up more than half (54%) of all Hispanics. In theWashington, D.C./Maryland/Virginia, area—the 12th largest Hispanic metropolitan population—Salvadorans are the largest, making up 34% of the area’s Hispanic population. Puerto Ricans are the largest Hispanic origin group in thePhiladelphia,Pennsylvania/New Jersey, area—the 24th largest Hispanic metropolitan area—making up more than half (53%) of all Hispanics there.

Mexican-Americans are by far the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, comprising 65% of the total Hispanic population in theUnited States. They are also the largest Hispanic origin group in 50 of the 60 metropolitan areas covered by this report, and make up more than half of the Hispanic population in 46 of them. Additionally, in 33 of these metro areas Mexicans are not only the largest Hispanic origin group, they are also bigger than any other racial or ethnic group.

This report compares the 10 metropolitan areas with the largest Hispanic populations on a range of demographic and socioeconomic variables—including Hispanic origin, age, nativity, citizenship, education, English proficiency, household income, homeownership, poverty and health insurance.

Accompanying this report are statistical profiles for each of the 60 largest metropolitan areas by Hispanic population. Each statistical profile describes the demographic, employment and income characteristics of the Hispanic population in that metropolitan area, as well as the area’s non-Hispanic white and black populations. Also accompanying the report are two interactive maps showing key characteristics of the Hispanic population in each of the nation’s 60 largest metropolitan areas by Hispanic population and the distribution of the six largest Hispanic origin groups across the nation’s more than 3,000 counties.

The report, “Characteristics of the 60 Largest Metropolitan Areas by Hispanic Population,” authored by Seth Motel and Eileen Patten, research assistants, Pew Hispanic Center, is available at the Pew Hispanic Center’s website,


The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy research organization based in Washington, D.C. and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts.



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