August 22nd, 2011
Florida Becoming Less Cuban, More South American

Florida, traditionally a cubano stronghold, is becoming a lot more diverse when it comes to its Latino population, according to a new report from the Associated Press. South Americans edged out Mexicans as a group, even as Cubans and Puerto Ricans remain the two largest groups, respectively. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

Cubans remain the largest group of Hispanics, followed by Puerto Ricans, but South Americans as a group now outnumber Mexicans. At 1.2 million, Cubans still have the most political influence and had the greatest raw number increase, but they had the slowest growth over the last decade.

The data released Thursday shows the Colombian community jumped from about 136,000 in 2000 to more than 300,000. Meanwhile, Venezuelans rose from 40,000 to more than 100,000, with roughly 85 percent of all Venezuelans in the U.S. living Florida. Peruvians similarly increased to more than 100,000.

It’s interesting how geography affects culture, and how culture is affected by different groups. We’d previously published this graph of the breakdown of Latinos in the U.S. and while Mexicans and Puerto Ricans outnumber Cubans overall, it seems like a big chunk of South Americans are settling in Florida.

Moving forward it will be important for Latinos across the country to work together, build coalitions and do the work that needs to be done as the country continues to change, regardless of ethnic subgroup. What do you think these numbers mean for the future of Cubans and Latinos in Florida?

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD.

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