Latinos a “demographic lifeline to rural America”

The Hispanic population increased from 1.6 million in 1992 to 4.1 million in 2019, an increase of 160%, in nonmetro America. The rapid growth of the nonmetro Latino population was 56% in the 1990s, 40% in the 2000, and 19% in the 2010s. The total non-metropolitan population   growth was far less:  5.4%, 5.5%, and 0.7% respectively. Between 1990 and 2019, 58% of net non-metropolitan area population growth was Hispanic; 3% Black; 7% white; and 32% non-Hispanic other (Asians, Native, multi-racial).

New, i.e. non-traditional, destinations of Hispanics include northeast Texas, the Carolinas, southeastern Pennsylvania, the Las Vegas area, and northwest Georgia.  When you look at these “new destinations,” the increases much more.  For new destinations, Hispanics were 3% of the population in 1990 and 16% in 2019. (In established destinations, such as southern and western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, the share of total population increased relatively modestly from 32% to 44%.

Within 200 non-metro counties, the total population would have declined except for Hispanic in-migration.

This population shift has led to some non-historical Hispanic states, such as North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Nevada, gaining a significant share of eligible voters being Hispanic. (go here,)

From here.


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