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Hispanics in Arkansas

They’re bringing change.

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Hispanics make up 5 percent of the Arkansas population, but account for 9 percent of Arkansas births. The median age of Arkansas Hispanics is 24; the median age of non-Hispanic Arkansas whites is 40, that of non-Hispanic Arkansas blacks is 29. All of which suggests that Arkansas will look considerably different in not too many years, even without factoring in Hispanic immigration, which presumably will continue.

The data is from the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington think tank that compiled a demographic profile of Hispanics in Arkansas as of 2007.

At the time, the total Hispanic population in Arkansas was 146,000, the 32nd largest total among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Arkansas Hispanics are 0.3 percent of the national Hispanic population. Forty-eight percent of Arkansas Hispanics were born in the U.S.A. Seventy-six percent of Arkansas Hispanics are of Mexican origin. (Nationwide, over 60 percent of Hispanics identify themselves as being of Mexican origin. The other nine largest Hispanic-origin groups — Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran, Dominican, Guatemalan, Colombian, Honduran, Ecuadoran and Peruvian — account for about one-third of the U.S. Hispanic population.)

Though comparatively new to the state, Arkansas Hispanics already have surpassed Arkansas blacks in a number of economic measurements. The median earning for Hispanics 16 and older is $19,226. For non-Hispanic blacks, it's $17,405, for non-Hispanic whites, $24,286. Thirty-eight percent of Arkansas Hispanics 17 and younger live in poverty, compared with 46 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 18 percent of non-Hispanic whites. In the 18-64 age group, 22 percent of Hispanics are impoverished, 23 percent of blacks, 6 percent of whites. Fifty percent of Arkansas Hispanics own their homes (that's 17th highest in the nation), compared with 46 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 73 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

Twenty-one percent of Arkansas Hispanics over the age of 5 speak only English at home. Seventy-nine percent speak something other than “only English” at home.     

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