Almost 60 million Latinos live in the United States, making up approximately 18 percent of the population. It is estimated that by 2060 approximately one in four people living in the United States will be Latino or of Hispanic heritage.
More than half of the Hispanic population lives in just five states—California, Texas, Florida, New York and Arizona—and more than 90 percent of all Hispanics live in metropolitan areas. However, those patterns are changing; there are now almost as many Hispanics in the South as in the West. States in other parts of the country, as well as some small cities and towns, also are experiencing rapidly growing Hispanic populations.
Approximately two-thirds of American Latinos were born in the United States. Twenty-two percent of Latinos are non-citizens and 13 percent are foreign-born individuals who have become American citizens. Latino immigrants have an important role to play in the U.S. economy. However, they tend to be less educated and earn less than the native-born population. Their children will be more likely than their parents to earn a higher education and achieve economic success.
Overall, Hispanics will take on an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy, which requires a growing number of workers to expand at a rate necessary to sustain general prosperity. Hispanics may play an outsized role because they are more likely than non-Hispanics to be working or seeking work and they are significantly more likely to be entrepreneurs.