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April 2000Vol. 1, No. 2Census Data Shows Latino Children Living in Poverty

According to a report issued in March by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, poverty is especially serious for Latino children. Latino children represent more than one-fourth (28.5%) of all children in the United States living in poverty. Among children younger than 18, one-third of Latino children (34%) are poor, compared with 11 percent of non-Hispanic white children. Among the different subgroups, the poverty rate for Latino children in 1998 ranged from 44 percent for Puerto Ricans to 17 percent for Cubans.

Besides poverty, the report covers population characteristics for the Hispanic population in the United States with regard to the following areas:

  • Educational attainment
  • Employment characteristics
  • Marital status
  • Family composition

General population statistics show that Latinos make up 12 percent of the total U.S. population or 32 million. In an ethnic comparison, people of Mexican heritage make up the largest group (65%), followed by Central and South American (14%), Puerto Rican (10%), Cuban (4%), and other Hispanic backgrounds (7%).

Hispanic Population in the United States: March 1999 is available in English or Spanish, along with other related information, from the website of the U.S. Bureau of the Census (

A related publication in English and Spanish, entitled Latinos and Child Welfare, published in 1997 by the National Latino Child Welfare Advocacy Group, is available at no charge from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (, 800-394-3366.