United States

Hispanics will make up half of California’s population by 2060

Hispanics stopped being a minority in California in 2016, and will account for 45.6 percent of its population in 40 years. Their presence in the state goes back 250 years, when Spaniards founded cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.
10 Jul 2017 – 5:34 PM EDT



Take a look at a map of California and you may be surprised by the number of cities, towns and counties with Spanish names. Those names, as well as the word California itself, came from the state's Spanish and Mexican heritage. And it's not just names. Click on the arrows () to discover interesting facts about the Hispanic origins of this state.


165 cities have Spanish names

Total number of cities:

482

One-third of the cities in California have Spanish names.


Hispanics become a minority

California was part of Spain for more than 50 years, then became part of Mexico from 1821 until it was surrendered to the United States following the 1848 war between the two countries. The following map shows the evolution of the borders.


Gold was found in what is now the city of Sacramento in 1848 and the state received a massive wave of migrants, mostly from other parts of the United States. California's non-native population went from 8,000 to 300,000 in just seven years. The Gold Rush provoked the annihilation or expulsion of natives and turned Hispanics into a minority.


The state with the most Hispanics

Today, Hispanics are the largest minority within the United States, and California holds the largest number of them. Out of the 54.2 million Hispanics across the country in 2015, nearly 15 million lived in California.

A third of all the Hispanics in the United States live in California.

California

14.8 millions

(27.2%)

(18.8%)

10.2

Texas

Hispanics

in the U.S.

54.2

million

4.7

(8.6%)

Florida

3.6

New York

(6.7%)

2.1

Illinois

(3.9%)

2.0

Arizona

(3.7%)

16.9

Others

(31.1%)

A third of all the Hispanics in the United States live in California.

California

14.8 millions

(27.2%)

(18.8%)

10.2

Texas

Hispanics

in the U.S.

54.2

million

(8.6%)

4.7

Florida

3.6

(6.7%)

New York

2.1

Illinois

(3.9%)

2.0

Arizona

(3.7%)

16.9

Others

(31.1%)

A third of all the Hispanics in the United States live in California.

Hispanics in the U.S.

54.2 millions

Others: 16.9 (31.1%)

2.0

Arizona

(3.7%)

California

Texas

Florida

New York

10.2

4.7

3.6

14.8 million

2.1

Illinois

(3.9%)

(18.8%)

(8.6%)

(6.7%)

(27.2%)

Hispanics in the U.S.

54.2 millions

Others: 16.9 (31.1%)

2.0

Arizona

(3.7%)

California

Texas

Florida

New York

A third of all the Hispanics in the United States live in California.

10.2

4.7

3.6

14.8 million

2.1

Illinois

(3.9%)

(18.8%)

(8.6%)

(6.7%)

(27.2%)


A minority that became a majority

Since the U.S. census began tracking these figures, Hispanics in California have grown more than 5 percent per year and became the state's largest ethnic group in 2016, ahead of whites. The California Demographic Research Unit has projected that by 2060 almost half (45.6 percent) of all the state's residents will be Hispanic.

66.6%

Whites

46.7%

45.6%

43.2%

39.9%

32.4%

37.7%

33.9%

30.9%

Hispanics

19.2%

1980

2000

2020

2040

2060

According to the Census Bureau, the Hispanics outnumbered whites in 2016.

66.6%

Whites

46.7%

45.6%

43.2%

39.9%

32.4%

37.7%

33.9%

30.9%

Hispanics

19.2%

1980

2000

2020

2040

2060

According to the Census Bureau, the Hispanics outnumbered whites in 2016.

66.6%

According to the Census Bureau, the Hispanics outnumbered whites in 2016.

57.2%

Whites

46.7%

45.6%

44.7%

43.2%

41.5%

39.9%

40.2%

32.4%

Hispanics

37.7%

37.6%

35.8%

33.9%

25.8%

32.1%

30.9%

19.2%

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

2060

66.6%

According to the Census Bureau, the Hispanics outnumbered whites in 2016.

57.2%

Whites

46.7%

45.6%

44.7%

43.2%

41.5%

39.9%

40.2%

32.4%

Hispanics

37.7%

37.6%

35.8%

33.9%

25.8%

32.1%

30.9%

19.2%

1980

1990

2000

2010

2020

2030

2040

2050

2060


California has 58 counties. In 1980, only Imperial County on the border with Mexico had a Hispanic majority. It is expected that 22 counties will have Hispanic majorities by 2060. Swipe over the gray box to see how Hispanics have been gaining ground.

Counties with Hispanic majority
cajitaSvg
1980
1990
2000
2010
2015
2020
2030
2040
2050
2060
Racial diversity

Today, California is much more diverse than 40 years ago. Growth in the number of Hispanics and Asians and a drop in the number of whites has reconfigured the state's ethnic make up. Hispanics and other ethnic groups are expected to continue growing until 2060.

cajitaSvg
1980
1990
2000
2010
2015
2020
2030
2040
2050
2060


Hispanics have not only diversified the state but also made it younger, because of their higher birth rate. About 8.5 percent of Hispanics are less than five years old, and the majority are less than 30. The median age of Hispanics is 28.2, compared to 35.8 for the state.

HISPANICS

OTHERS

> 85 years

80 to 84

75 to 79

70 to 74

65 to 69

60 to 64

55 to 59

50 to 54

45 to 49

40 to 44

35 to 39

30 to 34

25 to 29

20 to 24

15 to 19

10 to 14

5 to 9

< 5

6%

2%

0

2%

6%

10%

10%

One in four Hispanics is under 15 years-old. They are younger than the rest of the population.

HISPANICS

OTHERS

> 85 years

80 to 84

75 to 79

70 to 74

65 to 69

60 to 64

55 to 59

50 to 54

45 to 49

40 to 44

35 to 39

30 to 34

25 to 29

20 to 24

15 to 19

10 to 14

5 to 9

< 5

6%

2%

0

2%

6%

10%

10%

One in four Hispanics is under 15 years-old. They are younger than the rest of the population.

HISPANICS

OTHERS

> 85 years

80 to 84

75 to 79

70 to 74

65 to 69

60 to 64

55 to 59

50 to 54

45 to 49

40 to 44

35 to 39

30 to 34

25 to 29

20 to 24

15 to 19

10 to 14

5 to 9

< 5

8%

6%

4%

2%

0

2%

4%

6%

8%

10%

10%

One in four Hispanics is under 15 years-old. They are younger than the rest of the population.

HISPANICS

OTHERS

> 85 years

80 to 84

75 to 79

70 to 74

65 to 69

60 to 64

55 to 59

50 to 54

45 to 49

40 to 44

35 to 39

30 to 34

25 to 29

20 to 24

15 to 19

10 to 14

5 to 9

< 5

8%

6%

4%

2%

0

2%

4%

6%

8%

10%

10%

One in four Hispanics is under 15 years-old. They are younger than the rest of the population.


SOURCES: Social Explorer, Census Bureau (American Community Survey 2015 and Population Projections Program) California Department of Finance, “The Decline of the Californios” (Leonard Pitt) and Wikipedia.

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