Hispanic Federation Releases Comprehensive Report Detailing Dramatic Growth of Latino Population in Florida

Report highlights growing opportunities and investments needed to help empower this growing and dynamic community

September 9, 2016 (ORLANDO, FL) – Today the Hispanic Federation released a report titled, “Latinos in Central Florida: The Growing Hispanic Presence in the Sunshine State,” which highlights the dramatic ways in which Florida’s Latino community is being transformed by a new wave of migrants, particularly from the island of Puerto Rico. The report contains a wealth of information about the state’s Latino community, including population growth and diversity, geographic hubs, age and gender breakdowns, income and occupation trends, language and education proficiencies, voting tendencies and more.

The Hispanic Federation’s report was released at a morning press conference and panel discussion with community leaders, private sector representatives and nonprofit groups that focused on the growing opportunities and investments needed to help uplift Latinos in Central Florida.

“Nearly 5 million Latinos call the Sunshine State home. The capacity to understand and communicate effectively with this population is paramount to the work of the Hispanic Federation, and should be a top priority for public and private sector stakeholders across the nation,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “Florida holds immense political and economic power that is undoubtedly being driven and shaped by Latino voters, workers and consumers today – and their influence will only grow more pronounced in the years and decades to come.”

The data for this report comes from a number of different sources: the U.S. Census Bureau, Pew, and the research of social scientists. But what makes this report truly unique is access to the data provided by Nielsen from its Scarborough division, which measures, reflects and analyzes American consumer trends and behaviors.

“With a population of nearly 57 million nationally, there is little doubt that Latinos are helping to shape our country’s social, political, consumer and economic trends. There is no clearer evidence of this than what is happening right here in Central Florida," stated Monica Gil, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Multicultural Growth and Strategy. "This is why Nielsen feels so strongly about helping to support efforts - like this research project by the Hispanic Federation - that provide a better understanding of the Latino experience here locally and nationally.”

“I am proud to be able to partner with the Hispanic Federation to inform the debate surrounding Florida’s Puerto Rican community and how best to meet their needs and aspirations," stated Luis Miranda, Nielsen’s Hispanic Latino External Advisory Council Co-Chair. "By working together, we can ensure that this vital population has the opportunities and resources it needs to thrive.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Florida is home to the third largest Hispanic population in the nation and Latinos account for nearly a quarter of the state’s total population.
  • Between 2000 and 2014 there was a nearly 100 percent increase in the state’s Puerto Rican population. Much of this growth has been driven by the arrival of a significant numbers of Puerto Ricans arriving directly from the island.
  • The growth of the Puerto Rican population in the state is the most significant demographic shift in Latino Florida since the arrival of Cubans to South Florida in the 1960s.
  • While Latinos in Florida tend to be younger than Floridians as a whole, Orlando and Tampa’s Latino populations are especially young. Almost half of the Latino population of Orlando is between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • In much the same way that Florida’s Cuban population established itself in just a few counties in the state, the bulk of the Puerto Rican population is centered in just a handful of counties. Five counties account for 60 percent of the state’s Puerto Rican population.
  • By 2020, Puerto Ricans are projected to surpass Cubans as the largest Latino group in Florida.
  • When it comes to employment and jobs, Latinos in Tampa, Orlando and Central Florida generally are overrepresented in the blue-collar sectors of the economy and underrepresented in the white-collar sector.

For a copy of the report, please click here.