Given the current rhetoric about unauthorized Hispanic immigration, many Americans may not know that the portion of U.S. Latinos born in Latin America actually decreased in the last decade and a half. In fact, the immigrant share among each of the 14 largest Hispanic-origin groups is in decline, according to the Pew Research Center’s new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
Overall, foreign-born Hispanics went from 40 percent of the U.S. Latino population in 2000 to 35 percent in 2013. Salvadorans saw the largest percentage decline, going from 76 percent foreign-born in 2000 to 59 percent in 2013, according to the Pew report released Tuesday.
During the same period, immigrants born in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Colombia saw their shares of their ethnic groups decrease by more than 13 percentage points each. Mexicans, the largest Hispanic origin group in the U.S., saw a smaller decline of eight percentage points since 2000.
Nevertheless, Latino immigrants overall increased from 14.1 million in 2000 to 19 million by 2013, according to census data. Some experts have said the pace of Hispanic immigration slowed amid anti-immigrant sentiments in conservative states, where Republican lawmakers enacted laws which critics said unfairly targeted immigrants. The recession also slowed immigration.
But falling Hispanic immigration hasn’t slowed the U.S. Latino population growth, which remains on pace to see the largest population increase among non-white ethnic groups in the country by 2050. Latinos were the largest minority group in 2013, numbering more than 53 million out of 316.5 million U.S. residents, surpassing African-Americans.
Pew's report also detailed educational and language characteristics of foreign-born Hispanics. For instance, 84 percent of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. mainland in 2013 spoke only English or were bilingual. On the other end, just 37 percent of Salvadoran adults in the U.S. spoke English or were bilingual.
The 14 largest Hispanic origin groups in the U.S. are, in order: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Spaniards, Hondurans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Argentineans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans.