Five facts about U.S. Hispanics

Five facts about U.S. Hispanics
Photo by Teresa Puente

If all we knew about Hispanics came from how we are depicted in the media, we would not have a very accurate portrait.

Most of us are not undocumented. Most of us speak English very well. And more of our youth are going to college than ever before.

I know this from personal and life experience. But fortunately it also is documented by the Pew Research Hispanic Center, a non-partisan source of data and analysis.

They released a statistical portrait of Hispanics Friday. Here is a list of five interesting facts about Hispanics.

1) Hispanics are now 17 percent of the U.S. population.

2) Almost 60 percent of Hispanics over the age of 18 said they speak English very well or only English at home. For the age group 5 to 17 that number rose to 86 percent.

3) More than one-third of 18 to 24 year old Hispanics are enrolled as an undergraduate, graduate or as professional students.

4) Arkansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina and South Carolina are the states with the highest percentage of growth of the Hispanic population.

5) Of the 51 million Hispanics in the United States, 64 percent are native born.*

*Don't assume the other 36 percent  are undocumented. Mexicans are estimated to comprise 6 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States as of 2011, according to Pew Hispanic.

Still Hispanics do have progress to make. We have the highest poverty rates and are less likely to have health insurance than the general population.

If the education rates continue to rise, that bodes well for future generations.

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