The growth of the population of Hispanic origin in the United States in recent decades has caused surnames of Spanish origin to be among the most frequent in the country. If in 1990 there were none in the list of the 15 most common, in 2010 there were already six that appeared on that list. The American Research Center Pew Research Center is about to issue the report on population growth in this nation, with which the family names of Spanish roots will advance positions and, foreseeably, two new patronymic will enter. With the 2010 data, García already ranked sixth, followed by Rodríguez (ninth), Martínez, Hernández, López and González, who closed the list in thirteenth place. This year the list is expected to include the surnames Pérez and Sánchez. Smith, at the moment, is still the most common in the US.
In six states, at least one of the three most repeated surnames has Hispanic origin, an aspect in which California (García, Hernández and López) and New Mexico (Martínez, García and Chávez) stand out, states in which the three most common are Hispanics. The Queen Sofia Spanish Institute ―A non-profit organization that promotes interest in Spanish art and culture in the world― has produced a report, on the occasion of World Spanish Day, where it explains that the population of Hispanic origin now accounts for 18.3% of the country’s census (two-thirds of that population are under 35 years of age), and it is estimated that in 2060 it will approach about 111 million people.
That year, the US will be the second country in the world, after Mexico, with the most Spanish speakers, ranking ahead of Colombia (48 million) and Spain (46 million). In fact, according to the Cervantes Institute, by 2060 it is estimated that 27.5% of Americans will be of Hispanic origin. That is, almost one in three citizens.
Currently, Spanish is the second most spoken language in 43 of the 50 states of the country and 13.5% of Americans speak Spanish at home. Texas (29.4%), Florida (21.8%), California (29%), New Mexico (26.1%) or Nevada (21.8%) stand out from the rest.
Furthermore, Spanish is by far the second most studied language at all educational levels in the United States. It is also a language of young people because, according to the Census Bureau, the Hispanic community has the lowest average age and, of them, 71% use Spanish at home.
Today, more than 585 million people in the world speak Spanish. Of these, 41.1 million (7%) are American. The history of Spanish in the US dates back about 500 years, recalls the cultural entity The Hispanic Council, with the arrival of Ponce de León from Valladolid to Florida. “Since then, innumerable milestones illustrate its importance in the country, such as that 15% of its states and cities have names of Hispanic origin, that the first California Constitution was published in Spanish and English, or that the first electoral announcement in Spanish it was used 61 years ago and featured the iconic Jackie Kennedy, ”says a statement from the entity.
The Hispanic Council believes that “the fact that the United States is experiencing a predominance of Hispanic surnames is a reminder of the great past, present and cultural importance of the Hispanic community in the country.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.