Where in the U.S. did the Latino population grow the most? The South
The Latino population growth in the Southern U.S. could have a significant impact on the ongoing 2020 elections.
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A new study by Pew Research found the U.S. Hispanic population surpassed 60 million inhabitants in 2019, with the South seeing the largest population growth of Latinos in the nation.
Though the region does not account for the largest Latino population in the nation, the South saw the largest Latino population growth in the last decade — a 26% increase, compared to the West’s increase of 14%.
Nationally, Pew Research estimates the Latino population has grown 19% since 2010, an increase of 9.8 million people.
“The U.S. Latino population grew faster in the South than in any other U.S. region since 2010. It increased by 26% from 2010 to 2019, rising from 18.3 million to 23.1 million,” wrote Pew Research Hispanics on Twitter.
The U.S. Latino population grew faster in the South than in any other U.S. region since 2010. It increased by 26% from 2010 to 2019, rising from 18.3 million to 23.1 million. https://t.co/oELNMoL4uT pic.twitter.com/qfFFrxjnEe— PewResearch Hispanic (@PewHispanic) July 9, 2020
Pew Research also estimates Latinos accounted for roughly 52% of the total U.S. population growth since 2010. Latinos are now the second-largest ethnic group in the nation, behind non-white Hispanics.
Known for historically leaning conservative in elections, the Latino population increase in the South is a sign of the nation’s evolving demographic and political landscape.
Latinos will be the second-largest voting population in the upcoming 2020 election in November. With Pew Research estimating Latinos are among the youngest racial or ethnic groups in the U.S., the polls will see a majority of young latinos at the polls — if they show up to vote.
Some of the counties with a large increase in Latino population are also located in the South, and in swing states. Namely Harris County in Texas, Miami-Dade County in Florida, Bexar County in Texas, and Maricopa County in Arizona.
“Los Angeles County had more Hispanics than any other U.S. county, with 4.9 million in 2019. Overall, 11 counties had more than a million Hispanics in 2019,” tweeted Pew Research Hispanics.
Los Angeles County had more Hispanics than any other U.S. county, with 4.9 million in 2019. Overall, 11 counties had more than a million Hispanics in 2019. https://t.co/fijUqxU5Vu pic.twitter.com/4VW7e8gyKv— PewResearch Hispanic (@PewHispanic) July 10, 2020
The Latino vote is projected to be record-breaking for 2020, and in states such as Texas, voting for runoff primaries that could prove historic is just days away. Candace Valenzuela and Natali Hurtado, for instance, are each vying to flip their districts blue.
In Florida, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is fighting to keep her congressional seat in Miami-Dade County.
Elsewhere, the Latino vote has already caused waves in 2020, with the New York congressional primaries electing Ritchie Torres, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez winning her first reelection.
Latinos are continuously proving to be an important part of the nation’s evolving demographic history, not only through increased visibility in numbers and in the political landscape.