Hispanics: A Statistical Portrait
FIRST! A fact you need to know!
[snip]More civilians were killed last year in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, than were killed in all of Afghanistan.
There were 3,111 civilians murdered in the city of Juarez in 2010 and 2,421 in the entire country of Afghanistan.
On a per capita basis, a civilian was 30 times more likely to be murdered last year in Juarez, where there are 1,328,017 inhabitants according to Mexico’s 2010 census, than in Afghanistan, where there are 29,121,286 people according to the CIA World Factbook.
Look at these number from five years ago, and add six more years of the same. What do you get?
Hispanics: A Statistical Portrait
New Century Foundation
Oakton, Virginia 22124
Income and Wealth
- Per capita income of Hispanics is one half that of non-Hispanic whites, and household net worth is less than one tenth.
- Fifty percent of Hispanic households use some form of welfare, the highest rate of any major population group.
- Hispanics are 3.3 times more likely to be in prison than whites; they are 4.2 times more likely to be in prison for murder, and 5.8 times more likely to be in prison for felony drug crimes.
- Young Hispanics are 19 times more likely than young whites (and slightly more likely than young blacks) to be in youth gangs.
- Hispanics drop out of high school at three times the white rate and twice the black rate.
- Even third-generation Hispanics drop out of school at a higher rate than blacks and are less likely to be college graduates.
- From 1992 to 2003, Hispanic illiteracy in English rose from 35 percent to 44 percent.
- The average Hispanic 12th-grader reads and does math at the level of the average white 8th-grader.
Families and Health
- At 43 percent, the Hispanic illegitimacy rate is twice the white rate, and Hispanic women have abortions at 2.7 times the white rate.
- Hispanics are three times more likely than whites not to have medical insurance, and die from AIDS and tuberculosis at three times the white rate.
- In California, the cost of free medical care for illegal aliens forced 60 hospitals to close between 1993 and 2003.
- Only 33 percent of citizens of Hispanic origin consider themselves “Americans” first. The rest consider themselves either “Hispanic/Latino” or their former nationality first.
Hispanics: A Statistical Portrait
Hispanics are the fastest-growing major population group in the United States, and have outstripped blacks as the largest minority. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s medium or most likely projection, they will account for one in four of the American population by 2050. Large majorities of both legal and illegal immigrants are Hispanic, and would be the major beneficiaries of any program to offer undocumented residents a path to legal status. In May, 2006, for example, the Senate passed S. 2611, which would amnesty10 million illegal immigrants and triple legal immigration from one million to three million people every year.(1)
Decisions on amnesty, guest-worker programs, or any other immigration-related measures will therefore determine whether the United States retains its current demographic characteristics or becomes increasingly Hispanic. These decisions should not be made without regard to the impact Hispanics have already had on the United States.
In 2005, there were 42.7 million Hispanics in the United States, and they were 14.4 percent of a population that was 66.9 percent white, 12.3 percent black, 4.2 percent Asian, 1.4 percent Pacific Islander, and 0.8 percent American Indian.(2)
The great majority of Hispanics — 66 percent — are of Mexican origin. No less than ten percent of the population of Mexico now lives in the United States, and one out of every seven Mexican workers migrates here.(3) Many more would like to come: According to a recent survey, almost half of all Mexicans said that they would move to the United States if they had the chance.(4)
The 33 percent of Hispanics who are not from Mexico have mainly the following heritages: 17 percent Latin American, nine percent Puerto Rican, and four percent Cuban (See figure to the right).(5) The characteristics of these populations are often quite different, with Cuban immigrants generally more economically successful than those from Mexico, Central America, or Puerto Rico.
Between 2000 and 2005, the Hispanic population increased at a rate of 3.7 percent a year, no less than 14 times the growth rate for whites and more than three times the black rate.(6) This increase was due both to high birthrates and to immigration of about 800,000 Hispanics every year.(7) Much of this immigration was illegal. The best estimates are that Hispanics account for 78 percent — and Mexicans for 56 percent — of the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in this country.(8) What are some of the characteristics of this group?
Income and Wealth
In 2004, the median per capita income of Hispanics was about half that of whites — $14,100 as opposed to $27,500 (Figure 2). Because of their large households, Hispanics had a higher median household income than blacks, but on a per capita basis they were behind the black figure of $16,000.(9) Since 1972, the gap between white and Hispanic household incomes has increased while the gap between whites and blacks decreased.
In 2005, nearly a quarter of Hispanic families — 23 percent — were living in poverty, a rate close to that of blacks, and 2.6 times the white rate. As can be seen in Figure 3, however, Cubans were considerably less likely than other Hispanics to be poor. Greater familiarity with the United States should result in better earnings, but US-born Hispanics are still more than twice as likely as whites to be living in poverty (Figure 4 — the dotted line is at 1.0 for whites).(12) According to economist Robert J. Samuelson, the growth in the number of poor Hispanics is the main reason poverty is growing in the United States despite decades of efforts to fight it.(13)
The median net worth of Hispanic households in 2002 was $7,932, or nine percent of the median white net worth of $88,651.(14) At $10,425, the net worth of US-born Hispanics is not much higher than that of all Hispanics.(15) Again, as Figure 5 makes clear, there are sharp differences by area of origin.(16) The white/Hispanic gap is not shrinking over time: In 1996, Hispanic net worth was about 9 percent of that of whites
Part of the problem is unemployment. Although Hispanics have the reputation of accepting work others will not take, with an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in 2004, Hispanics were about 50 percent more likely to be unemployed than whites.(18)
Because of their low incomes, Hispanics are the major population group most likely to use welfare: In 2004, 50 percent of Hispanic households used at least one form of welfare, compared to 47 percent of blacks and 18 percent of whites (see Figure 6).(20) In 2005, 13 percent of Hispanic households used food stamps, as opposed to five percent of white households. Puerto Rican households were more than four times more likely than whites to use food stamps and Mexicans almost three times more likely.(21) Non-citizens are generally ineligible for many forms of welfare; if many Hispanics were to gain citizenship, Hispanic welfare use would rise.
Hispanics were 3.3 times more likely to be in prison than whites, and twice aslikely to be in jail.(22)
There were 267,000 criminal aliens in all prisons and jails in 2003, about three
quarters of whom were Hispanic.(23) Three point nine percent of Hispanic men aged 25-29 are in prison or jail, vs. 1.7 percent of whites (11.9 percent of black men of this age are incarcerated).(24)
As shown in Figure 7, Hispanic incarceration rates are especially high for violent crimes, motor vehicle theft, and drug offenses.(25) High drug offense rates reflect Mexico’s role as an important source of drugs: 92 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States comes through Mexico, and it is our largest supplier of marijuana and second largest supplier of heroin.(26)
Hispanics are 2.9 times more likely to die from homicide than whites (blacks are eight times more likely), and are 3.4 times more likely than whites to die from gunshot wounds (blacks are 11 times more likely). (These figures are age-adjusted to take into consideration the younger average age of Hispanics — young people are more likely to be murdered than older people.)(27) As shown in Figure 8, a 15- to 24-year-old Hispanic man is more than six times more likely than a white of the same age to die from homicide (a black is 17 times more likely).(28) Murder rarely crosses racial boundaries; almost all murder victims are killed by people of the same race.
In Los Angeles in 2004, 95 percent of the 1,200 to 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicide were issued against illegal aliens, almost all of whom were Hispanic. Up to two-thirds of the city’s 17,000 fugitive felony warrants were for illegal immigrants.(29)
In a disturbing sign for the future, Figure 9 shows that young Hispanics are no less than 19 times more likely than whites of the same ages to be members of youth gangs (blacks are 15 times more likely).(30)(31) MS-13, the largest and most notorious Hispanic gang has an estimated 10,000 members and recruits heavily among young men. Perhaps this explains why Hispanic high school students are three times more likely than whites to feel unsafe at school or on the way to and from school (Figure 10). This is a higher rate than for blacks, who feel unsafe at 2.7 times the white rate.(32)
There are no nationwide ethnic breakdowns of domestic violence, but according to one study, Hispanic men are more than two and a half times more likely than whites to batter wives or girlfriends, and Hispanic women are twice as likely as whites to commit domestic violence. White and black women are slightly more likely than men of the same race to commit domestic violence, but this is not true of Hispanics, for whom the man is more likely to be violent (Figure 11).(33) A different study found Hispanic women nine times more likely than white women to report domestic violence.
Hispanics were 42 percent more likely than whites to be arrested for drunk driving
Poverty and crime are invariably more common among Americans who do not finish high school, and most studies suggest Hispanics are more likely to drop out than any other group.
Because students move and change schools, it is not easy to calculate precise dropout rates, but for 2002, Jay P. Greene of the Manhattan Institute found a national graduation rate of only 52 percent for Hispanics, as opposed to 57 percent for blacks and 78 percent for whites.(36) The Civil Rights Project at Harvard reported similar results in a 2005 study: graduation rates of 50 percent for blacks, 53 percent for Hispanics, and 75 percent for whites.(37) According to a different measure that does not take into account prisoners or transients — many of whom are dropouts — 57 percent of Hispanics had graduated from high school, versus 74 percent of blacks and 85 percent of whites.(38)
To some extent, Hispanics’ low graduation rates reflect the language and cultural barriers faced by immigrants. US-born Hispanics do better than the foreign-born, but according to a government survey of adults, even Hispanics who have been in the United States for more than three generations (third generation+ on Figure 12) are twice as likely as whites and slightly more likely than blacks to report not having a high school diploma.(39) Hispanics who remain in school have lower test scores than whites. In 2004, their reading scores were the same as blacks. In a disturbing indication of future levels of productivity, on average, black and Hispanic 12th-graders read worse than white 8th-graders, and there is a similar pattern in math scores. Despite considerable efforts, the achievement gaps have grown wider since the 1990s (Figure 13).(40)
Hispanics are the least likely of the major population groups to attend college. In 2003, 28 percent of Hispanics aged 18 to 24 were enrolled in college, compared to 38 percent of blacks and 52 percent of whites. As shown in Figure 14, most groups have increased college attendance rates, but between 1974 and 2003, rates for Hispanic men declined.(41)
Hispanics who have been in the country for three generations or more are still less likely than blacks to graduate from college. Once again, country of origin has a significant effect, as shown in Figure 16.(43) Hispanics who do receive degrees have excellent opportunities, and receive slightly higher wages than whites when matched for education and occupation.(44)
In 2003, 44 percent of Hispanics did not speak and read English well enough to perform routine tasks, while in 1992 the percentage was 35 percent. This means the illiteracy rate for Hispanic adults rose during the decade, whereas it declined for every other major population group.
Fifty-three percent of working age residents in Los Angeles County have trouble reading street signs and filling out job applications in English.(47) In the nation as a whole, nine percent of fourth-grade students are classified as “English Language Learners,” but this number rises to 54 percent in heavily-Hispanic Los Angeles.(48)
Limited English can impose burdens on others. In 2002, the Office of Management and Budget estimated the costs of implementing Executive Order 13166, which required agencies receiving federal funds to serve people who do not speak English. OMB had not yet gathered the data to calculate a total figure, but it estimated the annual cost would be $268 million for hospitals and $8.5 million for state departments of motor vehicles. The annual cost of language services to food stamp recipients was expected to be $25.2 million.(49)
Fertility, Marriage, and Health
Hispanics have the highest fertility of any major population group, and their teenage birthrates are especially high (Figure 18).(50) Hispanic fertility stayed about even from 1980 to 2003, while that of whites dropped by six percent, and that of blacks by 26 percent.(51) Fifty-three percent of Hispanic women who gave birth in 2003 had a high school education, vs. 89 percent of white women.(52)
In 2003, the illegitimacy rate for children born to Hispanic mothers was 45 percent, nearly double the white rate (Figure 19). Between 1980 and 2003, the illegitimacy rate for Hispanics increased by 91 percent.(53) Hispanic women accounted for 20 percent of abortions in America in 2002, and were 2.7 times more likely than whites to end a pregnancy in this manner.(54) White and Hispanic divorce rates are about the same: According to a 2001 study based on older data, 34 percent of Hispanic women’s first marriages ended in divorce within ten years; the figure for white women was 32 percent.(55)
One reason for high fertility among Hispanics is the large number of young people. In 2005, their median age was 27.2, whereas the median age for whites was 40.3.(56) Although Hispanics are 14.4 percent of the total population, they are 22 percent of all Americans under age five. Figure 20 shows the percentage of whites, blacks, and Hispanics of various age groups. Whites, for example, account for 55 % of Americans under age five years, but 85 percent of those 85 and older.
Despite their youth, Hispanics are in relatively poor health and tend to receive infrequent medical attention. This is partly because they are the group least likely to have health insurance. Thirty-three percent of Hispanics are uninsured, vs. 11 percent of whites and 20 percent of blacks (Figure 21).(58) The majority of immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are without health insurance, which means they must be treated at public expense, and are likely to put off doctor visits until their conditions are relatively serious.(59) Hispanics were nearly twice as likely as whites to report not going to a doctor over the previous year, and children under 18 were about twice as likely as white children not to have visited a doctor during the previous year (Figure 22).(60) Hispanics are three times more likely than whites to die of AIDS, and four times more likely to die of tuberculosis (these figures are age-adjusted to take account of the low average age of Hispanics). They have higher rates of other diseases as well (Figure 23); a high rate of death from cirrhosis of the liver is an indicator of alcohol problems.(61) Mexican adults ages 18-64 are 90 percent more likely than whites to have untreated cavities.(62)
The rest of the study with charts can be found here: