In recent years, the fastest Hispanic population growth has tended to come in areas with a relatively small number of Latinos. Thanks to a boom in Bakken shale oil production, North Dakota has some of the fastest-growing counties by Latino population in the United States. In 2018, there were 27,000 people with Hispanic descent living in North Dakota. California, on the contrary, with more than 15 million people in 2018, has been home to the largest Latino diaspora for many decades ahead of such states as Texas and Florida.
In regard to the origin countries of the Hispanic population, more than 36 million of the U.S. Hispanic population was of Mexican descent in 2018. The second largest Hispanic ethnic group was Puerto Rican, with about 5.7 million people residing in the United Sates. Cubans constituted the third largest Latino ethnic group with estimated 2.3 million people. Most Hispanics are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. About 36 percent of foreign-born adult Hispanics living in the U.S. said they could speak English “very well” in 2017. At the same time, roughly 21 percent stated that they spoke English less than “very well”.
Language proficiency affects employability and income level. This could partly be the reason for the relatively high unemployment rate among the people with Hispanic ethnicity, which was 4.3 percent in 2019. In comparison, the average U.S. unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in the same year. In 2015, the median weekly earnings of a Latino full-time employee amounted to 680 U.S. dollars in the United States, which was 252 U.S. dollars beneath the total population median.