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Health Information

US Latino Health Facts

Socioeconomic Status
  • Latinos comprise more than 15% of the US population.1
  • Latinos appear to have higher life expectancies than non‐Latino Whites, yet most of this advantage is attributable to superior health.2
  • The high rate of population expansion among Latinos is primarily attributable to fertility and secondarily to immigration.1
  • It is expected that the Latino population will nearly triple from 2008 to 2050 when Latinos will represent 30% of the U.S. population.3
  • Currently, almost two‐thirds of the US Latino population is of Mexican origin.1
  • Latinos are very young, with more than 11 million children 12 years of age or younger; US‐born Latino children outnumber foreign‐born Latino children 10 to 1.1
  • 58% of Latinos 25 years of age and older had at least a high school education in 2004. 12% held a bachelorÂ’s degree or higher in 2004.4
  • Most Latino immigrants are middle‐aged (35 years of age) or older.1
  • More Latinos were living below the poverty line (22%) in 2006 compared to non‐Latino Whites (10%).4
  • Rates of children residing in high vulnerability areas in the US are currently: Whites 1.7%, Blacks, 20.3%, Latinos 25.3%.5
Disease and Death Disparities
  • According to research from AHRQ (Agency for Health Research and Quality),6 compared to Whites, for US Latinos: o Only one‐third received pneumococcal vaccine (vs nearly two thirds for Whites) o 37% were screened for colorectal cancer (vs 58% for Whites) o Only 62% were screened for breast cancer (vs 76% for Whites) o Only 9% received adequate treatment of mood, anxiety or impulse disorders (vs 33% for Whites)
  • In 2006, 33.3 Latino deaths per 100,000 were attributable to diabetes compared to 24.6 deaths per 100,000 in the general population.1
  • In 2005, Latinos had homicide rates of 7.5 per 100,000, compared to 2.7 per 100,000 for non‐Latino Whites.1
  • Work‐related death disparities between Latinos and all workers persist. In 2006, rates of death for Latinos were 5.0 per 100,000 compared to 4.0 per 100,000 for all workers. 1
  • The current death rate of HIV for Latinos is 4.7 per 100,000, compared to 1.8 per 100,000 for non‐Latino Whites.7
  • In 2005, 13.9 Latino deaths per 100,000 were attributable to liver disease compared to 9 per 100,000 in the general population.8

 

References
1. Vega, William et al. Health Disparities in the Latino Population. Epidemiologic Reviews August 2009.
2. Smith DP, Bradshaw BS. Rethinking the Hispanic paradox: death rates and life expectancy for US non‐Hispanic white and Hispanic populations. Am J Public Health. 2006; 96 (9): 1686‐1692.
3. Population projections. http://www.census.gov/Press‐Release/www/releases/archives/population/012496.html. August 14, 2008.
4. Ramirez RR. We the People: Hispanics in the United States. (Census 2000 special report). Washington, DC: Bureau of the Census, US Department of Commerce; 2004.
5. IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2009. Focusing on childrenÂ’s health: Community approaches to addressing health disparities: Workshop summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
6. AHRQ. 2008. "National Healthcare Disparities Report." Washington DC: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
7. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2008, With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2008.
8. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2007, With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2007: 195.

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Support for this program was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ® Princeton, New Jersey