Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Latinos make up for more than half of the U.S. population growth

The Census Bureau announced that Latino population grew to 62.1 million. According to the 2020 census, Latinos accounted for 51.1% of the country’s growth, increasing to 18.7% of the U.S. population.

Latinos were 50.5 million, which is 16.3%, of the national population in 2010, which means that the Latino population grew by 23% from in 10 years. In contrast, the white population is shrinking and aging.

The census data showed a drastic decrease in the number of Latinos who identified as white, from 26.7 million in 2010 to 12.6 million in 2020. The number of Latinos reporting more than one race quintupled from 3 million to 20.3 million.

Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) said in a statement, “Today’s data release from the 2020 Census demonstrates that the Latino community is a huge and increasing part of our nation’s future.”

Latinos have been undercounted in the past; the Census Bureau estimates by 1.5%. However, last year, the fallout from failed attempts by former President Trump to include a citizenship question in the census survey and to exclude immigrants without legal status from taking part, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, raised concerns about fewer responses and a possible undercut.

Saenz further stated, “Despite an unprecedented attempt by the disgraced Trump administration to manipulate the decennial Census specifically to reduce the count of Latinos, and despite a likely statistical undercount, the authoritative decennial Census count shows significant growth of the Latino population nationwide, and Latino population growth at a much higher rate than the nation’s non-Latino population.”

The numbers, which are critical for diving up billions of dollars in federal funding for many programs that communities rely on. They are  also used by legislatures and commissions and to an extent, by local governments to segment populations into voting districts or such divisions as city council, county commission and school board districts.

The increase in diversity the data show is the source of the nation’s strength, said Clarissa Martinez de Castro, Vice President of UnidosUS, the country’s largest Latino advocacy group. She also noted that 8 in 10 Latinos in the U.S. are citizens. “But despite our contributions to the country, the realities of our lives aren’t always recognized and worse, in too many cases, we are actively demonized,” she said.