Hispanics in California have a longer history in the United States than Hispanics in other states. California witnessed an immigration boom from Mexico and Central America during the 1980s, helping to make Hispanics the state's largest racial or ethnic group next year.
While the Latino boom moved to other states in recent years, particularly in the Midwest and South, California's population has become more settled. The following figures illustrate the trend.
- Seventy percent of California immigrants have lived in the U.S. before 2000, higher than any state in the country, according to 2012 census data. The majority are Latinos, according to Manuel Pastor, director of University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, which analyzed the data.
- Hispanic population growth was slower in California than almost every state in the 2010 census, up 27.8 percent from 2000, compared to 43 percent nationwide. The only ones lower were New York (19.2 percent), District of Columbia (21.8 percent) and New Mexico (24.6 percent).
- The number of foreign-born arrivals in the city of Los Angeles was 43.2 percent lower in 2009 than it was in 1990, while foreign-born arrivals nationwide went the other direction, soaring 47.8 percent, according to USC researchers. Foreign-born as a percentage of the entire population barely changed from 1990 to 2009 in Los Angeles at just below 40 percent, while jumping to 12.5 percent from 7.9 percent nationwide.
- California has the largest number of people living illegally than any other state and is second only to Nevada in percentage terms. But, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, the number of people living illegally in the state grew 11 percent from 2000 to 2010, well below a national increase of 34 percent.
- Los Angeles is the only major metropolitan area in the nation to witness a decline in the number of Hispanic children in the 2010 census, bucking a trend in all 50 states, according to a Brookings Institution analysis. The findings suggest that young Hispanic families and new arrivals are settling elsewhere.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.