It's Hispanic Heritage Month--a time to celebrate the culture and the entire community! And while many think they know all there is know about the Latino population in the U.S., some of them may actually surprise you. In honor of the event, we decided to round up a few basic facts you should know about Latinos in America:


Read more ¿Qué más?: 20 Latino superstitions we all believe!

1. According to the Census Bureau latest estimate for 2012, there were just over 53 million Latinos in the US. The Latino population grew 47.5 percent between 2000 and 2011.

2. Though there's been some dispersion in recent years, the Hispanic population remains highly concentrated. More than half (55 percent) live in just three states--California, Texas and Florida.

3. Alabama, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennesee, and South Dakota have seen the fastest growth of the Latino population since 2000.

4. The Latino population is the nation's youngest major racial or ethnic group, with a median age of 27.

5. Nearly two-thirds of the population trace their family origins to Mexico; Puerto Ricans are the nation's second-largest Hispanic-origin group, making up 9.5 percent of the total Latino population.

6. According to a new preliminary Pew Research Center estimate based on U.S. government data, 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States as of March 2012, three quarters of whom are Latino.

7. 35 million (approximately 74 percent) of Latinos ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home. Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the United States.

8. Most Latinos (86 percent) from the ages of 5 to 17 and 59 percent over the age of 18 speak English very well or speak only English at home.

9. Some evidence of this? One-third (32 percent) of Hispanic adults in 2012 get their news exclusively in English, up from 22 percent in 2006.

10. College enrollment among Latino high school graduates has increased greatly over the last decade. According to the Census Bureau, 49 percent of young Latino high-school graduates were enrolled in college in 2012, surpassing the rate for white (47percent) and black (45percent) high-school grads. Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland have the highest shares of college-educated Latinos.

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: hispanic heritage month