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The American Community—Hispanics: 2004

Report Number ACS-03
Component ID: #ti346286544

Introduction

This report presents a portrait of the Hispanic or Latino population in the United States.1 It is part of the American Community Survey (ACS) report series. Information on demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics in the tables and figures are based on data from the 2004 ACS Selected Population Profiles and Detailed Tables.2 The data for the Hispanic population are based on responses to the 2004 ACS question on Hispanic origin, which asked all respondents to report whether or not they were Hispanic.3

The 2004 ACS estimated the number of Hispanics to be 40.5 million, or 14.2 percent of the U.S. household population (Table 1).4 Hispanics of Mexican origin, with a population of 25.9 million in the United States, were the largest Hispanic group.

Mexicans accounted for 64 percent of the Hispanic population (Table 2). Puerto Ricans (3.9 million) were the second-largest group and made up nearly 10 percent of the Hispanic population. The third-largest Hispanic group, Other Hispanic or Latino, numbered 2.7 million and accounted for nearly 7 percent of the Hispanic population.5

Other sizable Hispanic populations included 1.4 million Hispanics of Cuban origin and 1.1 million Hispanics of Dominican origin. The 2.9 million Hispanics of Central American origin included 1.2 million Salvadorans, the largest group from that region. Of the 2.2 million people of South American origin, Colombians, with a population of 686,000 were the largest.6

Because Hispanics are a heterogeneous group, variation within the Hispanic population is also discussed in this report. Central Americans are a group that includes Costa Ricans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Panamanians, Salvadorans, and Other Central Americans. South Americans include those who indicated that they were Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan, Peruvian, Uruguayan, Venezuelan, and Other South American.

In addition to the broader Central and South American origin categories, this report includes data for the following selected groups that each had populations of 250,000 or more: Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, and Peruvians.7 In the future, as the ACS goes to full implementation and multiple-year estimates are produced, more information about additional groups may be available.

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1 The federal government defines Hispanic or Latino as a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. Thus, Hispanics may be any race. The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are used by the U.S. Census Bureau; hereinafter in this report, the term “Hispanic” is used to refer to all individuals who reported they were Hispanic or Latino.
2 The 2004 ACS datasets, including Selected Population Profiles and Detailed Tables, are available online in the American FactFinder at <factfinder.census.gov>.
3 For further information on the content and format of the questionnaire, see <www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology/questionnaire-archive.2003-2004.html>.
4 This report discusses data for the United States, including the 50 states and the District of Columbia; it does not include data for Puerto Rico.
5 The term “Other Hispanic” includes general Hispanic-origin responses, such as “Hispanic,” “Spanish,” and “Latino.”
6 The estimates in this report are based on responses from a sample of households. Estimates may vary from the actual values because of sampling error and other factors. All comparative statements have undergone statistical testing and are significant at the 90-percent confidence level unless otherwise noted.
7 These origins represent the largest groups reporting Caribbean, Mexican, Central American, or South American Hispanic origins.

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