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The U.S. Hispanic Population Is 'Disproportionately' Young

Six out of ten U.S. Latinos are millennials or younger, the latest Pew Research Center analysis finds.

A Hispanic mother walks with a stroller and a young child in California. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

In 2014, a striking 60 percent of U.S. Latinos were under the age of 33, according to a new analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center. To break it down further: A quarter of the U.S. Hispanic population were Millennials (18- to 33-year-olds) and a third were minors (under 18 years of age).

“For the nation’s Hispanic population, youth is a defining characteristic,” Pew’s study reads.

The U.S. Latino population’s share of Millennials and minors was larger than that of blacks (half) and Asians (45 percent). The white share of under-33-year-olds was only 39 percent. Here’s Pew’s chart illustrating these comparisons:

As with all other groups in the U.S., the median age of Latinos has increased since the 1980s—but by the smallest amount, relatively speaking. In this time, this group’s share of people under 18 has also seen a small, wavering decline. Still, the immense growth in the U.S. Hispanic population in the first decade of the century was a result of new births. So while the overall U.S. birthrate has fallen in recent years, it’s not surprising that a large share of the population still remains “disproportionately” young. As Pew notes, the “youthful profile” of the population is driven by a high share of minors among U.S.-born Latinos (47 percent).

This persistent young profile of U.S. Latinos will have wide-ranging impacts, Mark Hugo Lopez, the director of Hispanic research at Pew, tells CityLab via email:

The trends shaping the nation’s Latino community today are driven more and more by young Latinos. Together, Millennial and younger Latinos make up more than half of all Latinos, and, as a result, they are reshaping the community’s—and the nation’s—political, educational, labor market and language trends.

About the Author

  • Tanvi Misra
    Tanvi Misra is a staff writer for CityLab covering demographics, inequality, and urban culture. She previously contributed to NPR's Code Switch blog and BBC's online news magazine.