Hispanics made up 54 percent of the United States’ population growth between 2000 and 2014, according to figures released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
The Hispanic population in the U.S reached 56.5 million in 2015, 17 percent of the total population. The Pew report found that Southern counties accounted for nearly half of all Hispanic population growth. The least amount of growth occurred in the Midwest and the Northeast, 18 percent and 12 percent respectively.
Growth of the Hispanic population has not occurred in every U.S county. In many counties in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, Latino populations decreased between 2007 and 2014. Culberson County, Texas had the largest decline in Hispanic population, losing 15 percent between 2007 and 2014.
Pew’s analysis of the 2014 American Community Survey found that New Mexico has the highest share of the population of Latinos, 48 percent. Both California and Texas have nearly are nearly 40 percent Hispanic.
While Texas was home the county with the largest decrease in Hispanics, the state experienced the largest Latino population growth between 2000 and 2014. In that time, the amount of Latinos in Texas increased by 3.7 million, or 56 percent.
Most of the Hispanic population in the U.S is centered around 15 metropolitan areas. In two of them – Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach and Washington-Arlington-Alexandria — a majority of Hispanic residents in 2014 were foreign born.