Skip to navigation

Skip to main content

Migration News

contact us

October 1999, Volume 6, Number 10

Census: Foreign Born, Hispanics

The Census Bureau reported that there were 25.2 million foreign-born residents of the US on July 1, 1998—making them 9.3 percent of US residents. In 1850, the foreign-born were 9.7 percent of the population enumerated in the first Census of Population. The foreign-born share of the US population reached its nadir in 1970, at 4.7 percent; it peaked at 14.8 percent in 1890.

About 10.7 million of foreign-born residents are Hispanic, followed by 6.4 million foreign-born Asian Americans. For more information: />
On September 15, the Commerce Department released its annual estimates of the US population by race, Hispanic origin, age and sex for the US, 50 states, and 3,142 counties. The number of Hispanics increased by 35 percent between 1990 and 1998, from 22.4 million to 30.3 million, while the number of Asians rose 40 percent, from 7.5 million to 10.5 million.

The number of African Americans increased from 30.5 million in 1990 to 34.4 million in 1998. The Census Bureau projected that the Hispanic population would be larger than the non-Hispanic black population by 2004. The American Indian population rose from 2.1 to 2.4 million.

California in 1998 had 10.1 million Hispanic residents, followed by Texas (1.5 million); Florida (669,000); New York (411,000); and Arizona (345,000). New Mexico had the highest share of Hispanic residents-- 40 percent. In Arkansas (49,000 Hispanics in 1998); Georgia (220,000); Nevada (78,000); and North Carolina (161,000), Hispanic populations more than doubled between 1990 and 1998.

New York had 3.2 million Black residents. Between 1990 and 1998, Florida registered the largest numerical increase (495,000) in Black residents, followed by Georgia (430,000), Texas (382,000), Maryland (232,000) and North Carolina (204,000). In 1998, 62 percent of District of Columbia residents were African American. For more information: />
Poverty. The Census Bureau reported that median household income in 1998 was $38,885.

About 20 percent of poor US residents in 1997 lived in a household headed by an immigrant; 25 percent of the poor children in the US lived in a household headed by an immigrant. About 22 percent of the households headed by immigrants in 1997 had incomes below the poverty line (a total eight million persons, including US citizen household members); about 12 percent of households headed by US-born persons had incomes below the poverty line.