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FL Hispanic community -- it's not just for Cubans any more. Or Puerto Ricans. Or Mexicans..

Democratic strategist Steve Schale writes about the growing Hispanic community in Florida in his blog:
Twenty years ago, when Florida and Hispanic were mentioned in the same sentence, one word came to mind: Cuban. Fast forward a decade and we began to add “Puerto Rican” to that conversation. And while the vast majority of Hispanic voters are of Cuban and Puerto Rican origin, the 2010 census finds an ever more interesting landscape. For one, in terms of real population, more than 50% of all Florida Hispanics belong to a nationality that is neither Puerto Rican or Cuban---a finding that will have long term implications on our state, and its politics.

Here are a couple of interesting facts:

Cubans (29%) and Puerto Ricans (20%) remain clearly the two largest groups of Hispanics, with the latter growing in share. Overall, the number of Puerto Ricans living in Florida nearly doubled in the last ten years, adding the equivalent of the entire population of the City of Tampa to its ranks since the year 2000.

And more importantly for the state’s political calculus, the number of Puerto Ricans of voting age has nearly doubled since 2000, and as anyone living in Orlando can attest, it is a growth rate that isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Mexicans make up the third largest share, with just under 15% of the state’s Hispanic residents, and interestingly, the largest Mexican population (just over 65K) is in Hillsborough County, where Mexicans slightly outpace Cubans, despite the county’s long heritage as one of Florida’s key Cuban communities.

But here is where things get interesting; there are currently 14 nationalities that make up more than one percent of Florida’s Hispanic population. In terms of raw numbers, this means that 14 nationalities have a population living in Florida greater than 42,000 residents. And virtually all of these populations are growing faster than the overall Hispanic rate of growth.

To put this in perspective, here are a couple of interesting examples:

  • The state’s Salvadorian population is just over 55,000 people, roughly the size of Jupiter, Florida, and has grown 62% since 2000.
  • Our Guatemalan population today is over 83,000 residents, roughly the size of Boca Raton, and has grown 66% since 2000.
  • The Honduran population now stands at over 107,000 residents, or roughly the size of Clearwater, and is up 61% since 2000.
  • The Dominican population is now 172,000 plus, or equivalent to Fort Lauderdale, a number that is up 58%.
  • And Colombians now make up roughly 1 out of every 13 Hispanics living in Florida, with more than 300,000 residents, and a growth rate of nearly 54% over the last ten years.

One other interesting way to look at this trend is through the citizen naturalization figures.... read more here