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Demographics and the Latino Population

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II. The Demography of the Latino Population

excerpted Wrom: YFMYXOEAIJJPHSCRTNHGSWZIDREXCAXZOWCONEUQZAAFXISHJEXXIMQZUIVOTQNQEMS Elders, 29 American Journal of Law and Medicine 247-267 (2003) (159 Footnotes Omitted)

The Latino population is the fastest growing population in the United States, currently representing almost 12% of the total U.S. population. The Latino population will surpass the African American population by 2005 to become the second largest racial/ethnic group in the United States, increasing to ninety-eight million individuals by 2050 and representing approximately one- quarter of the U.S. population.

Yet, as the Latino population increases in number, it also ages. Currently, there are 1.9 million elderly Latinos representing 5.6% of the elderly population; by 2050 the Latino population age 65 and older will comprise 16.4% of the U.S. elderly population. It is important to note that the Latino population includes different ethnic groups that share a common language but represent separate and distinct cultures. Mexican Americans account for 66% of the total Latino population living in the U.S., followed by South/Central Americans at 14%, Puerto Ricans at 9%, Other Latinos at 6% and Cubans at 4%. The breakdown is somewhat different among the elderly Latino population. While Mexican Americans remain the clear majority, Cubans and Puerto Ricans have a higher representation. Among Latinos age 65 and older, Mexican Americans represent 53% of the population, followed by Cubans at 16%, South/Central Americans at 13% and Puerto Ricans at 10%. Much of what we know about the health, social and economic status of the Latino population is based on the experience of Mexican Americans and, to a much lesser degree, the experience of the other Latino ethnic groups.



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Professor Vernellia R. Randall
Institute on Race, Health Care and the Law
The University of Dayton School of Law
300 College Park 
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Email: randall@udayton.edu


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