Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement

Table 2-2. Selected Characteristics of the Hispanic/Latino/Spanish Population in the United States

Hispanic Groups Number
(in millions)
Percent of U.S. Hispanic Population Percent of U.S. Population Native Born (%) Speak a Language Other Than English at Home and Speak English Less Than "Very Well" (%) Less Than High School Graduationa (%) Poverty Rate (%)
Mexican 20.9 59.3 7.4 58.5 43.1 54.2 23.5
Puerto Rican 3.4 9.7 1.2 98.6b 26.7 36.7 25.8
Cuban 1.2 3.5 0.4 31.5 45.9 37.1 14.6
Central American 1.8 5.1 0.6 24.5 56.8 54.0 19.9
Costa Ricanc (0.07) (0.2)          
Guatemalan (0.37) (1.1)          
Honduran (0.22) (0.6)          
Nicaraguan (0.18) (0.5)          
Panamanian (0.09) (0.3)          
Salvadoran (0.66) (1.9)          
Other (0.10) (0.3)          
South American 1.4 4.0 0.5 23.4 47.6 23.9 15.0
Argentinean (0.10) (0.3)          
Bolivian (0.04) (0.1)          
Chilean (0.07) (0.2)          
Colombian (0.47) (1.3)          
Ecuadorian (0.26) (0.7)          
Paraguayan (0.01) (0.0)          
Peruvian (0.23) (0.7)          
Uruguayan (0.02) (0.1)          
Venezuelan (0.09) (0.3)          
Other South American (0.06) (0.2)          
Dominican 0.8 2.2 0.3 31.8 53.7 48.9 27.5
Spaniard 0.1 0.3 - 59.8 25.3 23.0 12.8
Other Hispanicc 5.5 15.7 2.0 72.4 29.8 40.0 21.5
Total Hispanic 35.3 100 NA 59.8 40.6 47.6 22.6
Total U.S. Population 281.4 NA 12.5 88.9 8.1 19.6 12.4

a Population 25 and older.
b Persons born in Puerto Rico are automatically U.S. citizens. In the case of Puerto Ricans, they are not considered foreign-born.
c Includes general responses such as Hispanic, Spanish, and Latino.

Source: Ramirez, 2004.

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Page last reviewed October 2014
Internet Citation: Table 2-2. Selected Characteristics of the Hispanic/Latino/Spanish Population in the United States. October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/final-reports/iomracereport/reldatatab2-2.html