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Hispanic health - Statistics & Facts

Hispanic Americans or Latino Americans are the second largest ethnic group in the United States and include those Americans who are descended from Spain, Portugal, or the Spanish or Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America. The birth rate of Hispanics in the U.S. has decreased gradually since 1990 and reached a low of 14.6 births per 1,000 Hispanic population in 2019. In 2019, the leading cause of death for Hispanics was cancer, followed by heart disease and unintentional injury.

Cancer among Hispanics

As of 2018, there is a 37 percent chance that a Hispanic male will develop cancer at some point in their life, with this probability slightly lower for Hispanic females. The most common form of cancer among Hispanic males is prostate cancer with an estimated 17,600 new cases in 2021. The most common form of cancer among Hispanic females is breast cancer, followed by uterine corpus cancer. In 2021, there were around 22,700 deaths from cancer among Hispanic females, of which, breast cancer accounted for 3,100 such deaths.

Mental health

Concerning mental health, an estimated 18 percent of the Hispanic population suffered from some mental illness in the past year as of 2019. Major depressive episodes are more common among younger Hispanics although the share of Hispanics in the U.S. who reported a major depressive episode in the past year has increased for all age groups in recent years. The share of Hispanics and Latinos who had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year has also increased, but fortunately so has the percentage who have received mental health treatment or counseling.

Health care

Access to health care and suitable health care professionals remains an issue for many Hispanics in the United States. As of 2019, there were 1.8 million Hispanic children in the U.S. who did not have health insurance. As they age Hispanic adults expect to rely heavily on Medicare, social security and Medicaid to cover the cost of their health needs, with only 31 percent planning on relying on personal savings or investments. Trouble communicating with health care providers because of language or cultural barriers remains a problem for some Hispanics, but the majority rarely or never experience such issues. In 2018, only four percent of Hispanic adults stated they often experienced language barriers when communicating with health care providers.

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