The Golden State
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State Highlights
  • Total Latino Population


  • Median Age of Latinos


  • Median Income of Latinos 16+


  • # of Latino Registered Voters


  • Latinos Without Health Insurance


  • Latino Homeownership


  • Latinos as % of All Under 18



From 2000 to 2014, the Latino population in California increased by 35.6% and accounted for 81.7% of the state’s total population growth. 1

In 2014, California’s Latino population totaled 14,988,768 and constituted 38.6% of the state’s total population. 2

Much of the Latino population is concentrated in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose. 3 The two counties with the largest Latino populations were Los Angeles and San Bernardino. 4

In 2014, California’s Latino citizen voting age population numbered 6,859,000. 5

Furthermore, Latino registered voters totaled 3,294,000 and constituted 23.3% of all registered voters in the state. 6

Approximately 51.8% of Latino registered voters cast ballots during the November 2014 elections. 7


In California, CA A93 was passed, providing financial support for research by the State Department of Health Care Services. This research would help identify whether the state could develop a medical assistance program for children under 19 “who do not have satisfactory immigration status or are unable to establish satisfactory immigration status.” 8 9

Regarding healthcare, CA S75 was passed, broadening Medi-Cal eligibility for individuals who did not meet satisfactory immigrant status and thus, were labeled ineligible for federal Medicaid.10

CA A60 stipulates that fraud occurring within the umbrella of immigration reform services tied to executive and congressional actions is now protected by existing safeguards. 11

California legislation (CA S84) designated a Statewide Director of Immigrant Integration, to be appointed by the governor. This position will oversee services and policies relating to immigrants of California. 12


California passed CA S897, which specifies that elementary and secondary education will provide immigrant students with materials that discuss civic engagement, federal, state and local governments. 13

CA A2751 stipulated that employers are barred from participating in immigration-related retaliatory behavior. 14

Additionally, California law (CA S1159) allowed tax identification numbers (in lieu of social security numbers) to be used when applying for a license, ensuring that no one will be discriminated against because of their citizenship status. 15

According to CA A2747, utility companies must provide written notice that services will be terminated within ten days. This notice must be written in several different languages, including English, Spanish, and Chinese. 16

Illegal residents became eligible for some health, educational, and social services, after CA S396 was passed, repealing previous law that stated they were ineligible. 17

California passed CA HR51, which states that all citizens of the state share the responsibility for welcoming and caring for refugees who are entering the United States. 18

Also, California passed a resolution (CA SR40) that asks the federal government to hold off on deporting residents who are here unlawfully, but have not committed any major crimes. 19

76.4% of Latinos were citizens of the United States (64.0% were native born and 12.4% were naturalized). 20

36.0% of Latinos were foreign born. 21

73.7% of Latinos 5-years of age and older spoke Spanish. 22

Of Latino Spanish-speakers 5-years of age and older, 57.2% spoke English “very well”, 16.5% spoke English “well”, 16.3% spoke English “not well”, and 10.0% spoke English “not at all.” 23

The median age of Latinos was 28.5 years compared to 38.3 years for Whites. 24

31.7% of Latinos were under 18 years of age compared to 22.0% of Whites. 25

Latinos comprise 9% of all persons under the age of 18. 26

Of Latinos 25-years of age and older, 38.9% had less than a high school diploma (compared to 15.6% of Whites), 25.3% had a high school diploma, GED, or alternative credential (compared to 21.0% of Whites), 24.4% had some college or an Associate’s degree (compared to 30.8% of Whites), 8.0% had a Bachelor’s degree (compared to 20.1% of Whites), and 3.4% had a Graduate degree (compared to 12.5% of Whites). 27

Median household incomes totaled $47,434 for Latinos and $65,070 for Whites (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars). 28

19.8% of Latinos lacked health insurance compared to 7.0% of Whites. 29

41.9% of Latino households were owner occupied (compared to 57.7% of White households) and 58.1% were renter occupied (compared to 42.3% of White households). 30

9.8% of Latinos were unemployed compared to 7.1% of Whites. 31

The number of Latino-owned businesses grew 91.4% over a 10-year period, going from 427,678 in 2002 to 818,485 in 2012. 32 33

In 2012, receipts for Latino-owned businesses totaled $108.3 million, representing an increase of 33.6% from 2007. 34 35

In 2012, Latino-owned businesses employed 548,748 people with an annual payroll of $17.7 million. 36

In 2015, the Latino purchasing power in California totaled $339.3 billion. 37

From 2000 to 2014, California’s immigrant population increased 18.6%, growing from 8,864,255 in 2000 to 10,512,399 in 2014 (immigrant share of 1% in 2014). 38

In 2014, 42.9% of immigrants living in California entered the U.S. before 1990, 24.2% entered between 1990 and 1999, 1% entered between 2000 and 2009, and 8.8% entered after 2010. 39

According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2014 estimate, 52.1% of immigrants living in California were born in Latin America, 37.8% were born in Asia, 6.4% were born in Europe, 1.6% were born in Africa, and 2.0% were born in other regions. 40

49.0% of all immigrants in California were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2014. 41

In 2012, 4,100,287 people (or 30.7% of all registered voters in California) were newly naturalized citizens or U.S. born children of immigrants. 42

In 2014, foreign-born workers totaled 6,572,243 and made-up 33.1% of California’s workforce. 43

Between 2009 and 2013, 1,741,000 undocumented immigrants held permanent jobs in California, representing 62% of the undocumented civilian population. 44Removing undocumented immigrants from California would result in a $301.6 billion loss in economic activity and a loss of 3.6 billion jobs. 45

Undocumented immigrants in California paid $3.3 billion in state and local taxes in 2012. 46

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