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This report examines the socioeconomic trends and differences among not only the four major racial and ethnic groups in the country (non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Latinos, and Asians) but also within the Latino population from 1990 to 2017.


This report uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) data for all years released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, ( See Public Use Microdata Series Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2017.


The four major racial and ethnic groups within the Latino population present a high variety. The majority of Latinos in the U.S. identify as white (65% in 2017), followed by mixed-race (31.8%); Afro-Latinos (2.2%) and Indigenous Latinos (1.0%) are very few in comparison. Latinos are the youngest racial and ethnic group in the country, but it is Afro-Latinos who are the youngest of them—in 2017, 20.6% of Afro-Latinos were aged 0-9 years old. In terms of education, high-school non-completion decreased significantly between 1990 and 2017 among Latinos in general. A similar decreasing trend was found in terms of the lowest income strata. Finally, while the foreign-born white and mixed-race Latino population decreased slightly in this period (about one percentage point difference), it was the foreign-born Afro-Latinos who experienced the largest drop, from 38.2% to 26.4%. In contrast, the proportion of Indigenous Latinos grew substantially over this period, from 15.4% in 1990 to 27.6% in 2017.


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Citation information: Villamizar-Santamaría, Sebastián F. (2022). Racial and Ethnic Composition among Latinos in the United States (1990-2017). New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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