Celebrating the region's Hispanic and Latinx heritage

Data shows residents come from diverse backgrounds across the globe

About one in 10 of the region’s four million residents identify as Hispanic or Latinx. PSRC recently explored how this population has grown in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

In this post, we dive into data about how people within this broad, encompassing group identify themselves, as well as their demographics.

Hispanic/Latinx residents in the region have roots in many places.

Mexico is the country most frequently cited (290,400). About 70% of people of Hispanic/Latinx heritage in our region identify as Mexican. The next largest group is people of Puerto Rican descent (25,200), followed by those who identify as Spanish or Spaniard (16,100).

Each of these ethnic groups has a unique culture and experience in our region. Disaggregating this data will allow us to address and plan for the needs of these communities more effectively.

The chart below shows the 10 largest countries of origin, They represent 93% of the region’s Hispanic/Latinx population.

Almost 40% of people in the region with Hispanic/Latinx heritage were born in Washington state. Many of them have lived here for generations, helping to build the region into what it is today. Another 30% of Hispanic/Latinx residents are U.S. citizens who were born in other states or abroad, and 32% are foreign-born.

Hispanic/Latinx residents tend to be younger than the population overall. For example, in Snohomish County the median age for people of Hispanic/Latinx origin is 26, while the median age for the county overall is 38.

As the median age for people of Hispanic/Latinx origin is younger and the share of population identifying as Hispanic/Latinx is growing, the percentage of people with Hispanic/Latinx heritage is likely to increase in the future.

Economic inequality persists for Hispanic/Latinx people. Compared with white, non-Hispanic/Latinx householders, they have substantially lower incomes.

In King County, Hispanic/Latinx householders had a median household income of only $66,000, while the county’s white non-Hispanic/Latinx householders had a median household income of $101,000.

More than twice as many Hispanic/Latinx households live in poverty as non-Hispanic white households. The share of Hispanic/Latinx households living in poverty is 14.3%, compared with only 6.9% of non-Hispanic white households.

This data doesn’t easily reveal the varied experiences different ethnic groups in the Hispanic/Latinx community have in the region and how it shapes where they live, the opportunities they can access and the trajectory of their lives. However, they do highlight the need to address the unique barriers these communities face that depress their incomes and disproportionately push them into poverty.

VISION 2050 and our Regional Equity Strategy will equip jurisdictions with the tools they need to reduce the likelihood that race continues to shape the life outcomes of these residents. We look forward to working with our members to improve outcomes for our Hispanic/Latinx communities and the region as a whole.