The U.S. Latino population again broke a record in 2018. The growth rate is slowing down, however, according to new data from the Census Bureau.
The Latino population in 2018 stood at an estimated 59.9 million, 1.2 million more than the previous year and 12.1 million more than in 2008.
However, over the past decade, population growth among Latinos has slowed as the annual number of births to Latino women has declined, said the Pew organization, which analyzed the data.
From 2005 to 2010, the nation’s Latino population grew by an average of 3.4% per year, but the rate has dropped to 2.0% per year since then.
Analysts point out that, even so, the increase in the Latino population continues to outpace that of other groups, especially the white population, with negligible growth, or the black population, which grew by less than 1%.
Only Asians have grown faster than Latinos, at a rate of 2.8%.
The South is where the Latino population has grown fastest, 33% in the last decade, 5.6 million more than in 2008.
A few individual states outside the South with very small Latino populations grew at faster rates. For example, North Dakota’s Latino population grew 135% between 2008 and 2018, the fastest growth rate in the country.
Los Angeles County, California, again ranks as the county with the largest Latino population with 4.9 million in 2018, followed by Harris County, Texas, with 2 million and Miami-Dade County, Florida, with 1.9 million.
Despite the fact that the Latino population continues to be among the youngest, it has experienced a significant increase in its average age over the last decade.
Latinos had an average age of 30 in 2018, compared to 27 in 2008. The white population had the highest median age nationally (44 in 2018), followed by the Asian population (37) and the black population (34).