Latino Children Represent Over a Quarter of the Child Population Nationwide and Make Up at Least 40 Percent in 5 Southwestern States
Latinoa children (ages 18 and under) numbered 18.6 million in 2019, making up 26 percent of the nation’s total child population. While Latino children disproportionately reside in the Southwest, they comprise a sizeable share of the child population in all 50 states—and at least 25 percent of the child population in 12 states.
The percentage of states’ total child population that is Latino ranges from 2 percent in Vermont to 61 percent in New Mexico. Latino children account for roughly half of the state’s total child population in 3 states in the Southwest—New Mexico, California, and Texas—and exceed 40 percent of the child population in 2 other Southwestern states—Nevada and Arizona. Outside the Southwest, Latino children now account for 25 percent to nearly 40 percent of the child population in 7 states (Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Illinois), 10 percent to nearly 25 percent in 22 states (Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Kansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, Wyoming, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, Alaska) and the District of Columbia, and less than 10 percent in 16 states (South Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Kentucky, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, Maine, West Virginia, Vermont).b
In terms of total population of Latino children by state, California, Texas, Florida, and New York each have more than 1 million young Latino residents—4.6 million in California, 3.7 million in Texas, 1.4 million in Florida, and just over 1 million in New York. Arizona, Illinois, and New Jersey (in order of population) have the next-highest Latino child populations, ranging from roughly 500,000 to 750,000. Around 200,000 to 400,000 Latino children live in Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Maryland (also ordered by population). Latino children also have a substantial and growing presence in several Midwestern states: Roughly 180,000 Latino children live in Michigan and Indiana, and just over 160,000 Latino children live in Ohio.
a We use “Hispanic” and “Latino” interchangeably. Consistent with the U.S. Census definition, this includes individuals who have origins in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, as well as other “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish” origins.
b All lists of states in this paragraph are ordered by percentage of the state’s child population that is Hispanic.