Latino Population In Rural America Is Growing: New Carsey Institute Fact Sheet
By Beth Potier, Media Relations
January 23, 2008
Despite their traditional residence in U.S. urban areas, Latinos represent
a large and growing segment of America’s rural population, a new fact
sheet from the Carsey Institute at UNH finds. Using recent data from the
Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), the fact sheet
by Carsey Institute rural fellow Rogelio Saenz presents a profile of the
Latino population in the non-metropolitan United States.
The fact sheet, “A Profile of Latinos in Rural America,” finds
that nearly 3.2 million Latinos live in rural areas of the country, comprising
6.3 percent of the nation’s non-metro inhabitants. In addition, the
fact sheet finds the Latino population in the United States is young (three
in 10 Latinos in non-metro areas are younger than age 15) and is giving birth
at a higher rate than other groups.
“The rural Latino population is growing and is spreading beyond the
traditional Southwest, where they have been clustered in the past,” said
Saenz, who is a rural fellow at the Carsey Institute as well as a professor
in the department of sociology at Texas A&M University. “This population
is also young and faces the challenges associated with low levels of education
and high rates of poverty. Rural policymakers and community leaders should
consider these factors to ensure that Latinos prosper in their communities.”
Among the key findings from the fact sheet:
· Although Mexicans comprise three-fourths of all Latinos in non-metro
areas, the population is diverse, with Latinos from Latin America, the Caribbean
and Spain all represented.
· Nearly four-fifths of non-metro Latinos age five and older speak
· Compared to non-Hispanic whites and blacks, non-metro Latinos are
proportionately younger (three in ten are under age 15), gave birth at higher
rates (9.2 percent for Latinas compared to 5.5 percent for whites and 6.3
percent for blacks), and have lower levels of education.
· One-third of Latinos in non-metro areas were born outside the U.S.
· Seven states in the South and Southwest have at least 100,000 non-metro
Latinos, accounting for 57 percent of the nation’s non-metro Latino
population: Texas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Arizona, Colorado, Florida,
· Non-metro Latinos are living in poverty (28 percent) at twice the
rate of whites but less than the rate among blacks. Roughly two-fifths of
Latino households/families in non-metro areas have incomes below $25,000,
compared to 55 percent of black families.
· Latino men aged 25-54 in non-metro areas are employed at a rate
consistent with white men and women (unemployment rates of 5.5 percent for
Latino males), while Latina women and black men and women face greater job
For a copy of the fact sheet, go to: http://carseyinstitute.unh.edu/documents/SaenzRuralLatinoFS08.pdf
For more information about the Carsey Institute, go to www.carseyinstitute.unh.edu.