Hispanic/Latinos in Wisconsin - Overview

The term Hispanic or Latino refers to persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race1 . For the purpose of this website, these populations will be termed Hispanic/Latino.

According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate, there are almost 53 million Hispanic/Latinos living in the United States2. This group represents 16.9 percent of the U.S. total population3. In 2012, 33.2 percent of Hispanic/Latinos were under the age of 18, in comparison to 19.7 percent of non-Hispanic Whites4. Among Hispanic/Latinos, Mexicans are the largest subgroup, at 64.3 percent5. According to a 2007 U.S. Census Bureau report, 64 percent of Hispanic/Latinos, in comparison to 92 percent of non-Hispanic Whites, has a high school diploma6. Additionally, only13/8 percent of Hispanic/Latinos in comparison to 32.5 percent of non-Hispanic whites have a bachelor's degree or higher7.

Hispanic/Latinos have the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group within the United States8. In 2007, 32.1 percent of the Hispanic/Latino population was not covered by health insurance, as compared to 10.4 percent of the non-Hispanic White population9. Hispanic/Latino health is often shaped by factors such as language/cultural barriers, lack of access to preventive care, and the lack of health insurance10.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that the leading cause of illness and death among Hispanics/Latinos include heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (accidents), stroke, and diabetes11. Some other health conditions and risk factors that significantly affect Hispanic/Latinos are: asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, suicide, and liver disease12. However, there are also disparities among Hispanic/Latino subgroups. For instance, while the rate of low birth weight infants is lower for the total Hispanic/Latino population in comparison to non-Hispanic Caucasians, Puerto Ricans have a low birth weight rate twice that of non-Hispanic Caucasians13. Puerto Ricans also suffer disproportionately from asthma, HIVAIDS and infant mortality14. Mexican-Americans suffer disproportionately from diabetes15.

Wisconsin Population

Hispanic/Latinos are the second largest and fastest growing minority racial and ethnic population in Wisconsin16. As of 2008, this group constituted 5 percent of the population, totaling 285,801 people17. This population has increased 46.8% since the 2000 Census18.

As of 2008, two-thirds of Wisconsin's Hispanic/Latino population was concentrated in Milwaukee, Dane, Racine, Kenosha, and Brown counties19. However, this population is rapidly growing in other areas of Wisconsin. Milwaukee County is home to 112,931 Hispanic/Latinos, comprising 39.5% of Wisconsin's Hispanic/Latino population20. Wisconsin's Hispanic/Latino population is relatively young, with a median age of 24.8 years in 2008, compared to 38.2 years for the total state population21. Thirty-nine percent are under age 18, compared to 23 percent of the state population22. Also, while 13 percent of Wisconsin's population was age 65+, only 4% of the Hispanic/Latino population was 65 or older23.


Health Facts

Additional Information

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  1. The Health of Racial and Ethnic Populations of Wisconsin: 2001-2005.
  2. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007.
  3. Ibid.
  4. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=64
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Income, Poverty and Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007
  9. Ibid.
  10. Ibid.
  11. http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=3&lvlid=64
  12. Ibid.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Ibid.
  15. Ibid.
  16. The Health of Racial and Ethnic Populations of Wisconsin: 2001-2005.
  17. Minority Health Profile 2008.
  18. Ibid.
  19. Ibid.
  20. Ibid.
  21. Ibid.
  22. Ibid.
  23. Ibid.

Additional Information About Hispanic/Latinos in Wisconsin

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Last Revised: October 23, 2015