Information from the U.S. Census shows the dramatic impact Latinos have had on Iowa’s population in the last 10 years. Gary Krob is the coordinator of the state data center.

“Since 2000, the Latino population has increased by 91.6%, which is quite dramatic if you look at the population change in the state of Iowa being right around four-percent,” Krob says.

“So, while Iowa’s population is growing fairly slowly, but growing, the Latino population in Iowa is booming if you will.” The data show the Latino population increased by over 75,000 in the 10 years and there were 158,000 in the state on July 1st of 2011.

“It’s a much younger population than the state. The state is generally a little older than the Latino population — actually probably not a little older, considerably older. I believe the median age for the state of Iowa is 38.1 and the Latino population is 22.2, so that’s a pretty significant difference,” Krob says.

The data show a majority of the Latinos work in the construction and service industries. “I wasn’t really that surprised on the occupation groupings for the Latino population,” he says, “you hear where the Latinos are moving to, what communities they are moving into. Generally a lot of meatpacking plants a lot of production areas, and so when you see the occupation numbers, that kind of verifies what you’re hearing.”

There appears to be some correlation with the occupations and income of Latinos. He says the median income rate for Latinos is $10,000 different from the median income rate of Iowa as whole, a difference of $37,000 dollars compared to $47,000. The poverty rate is a little higher too at 27.2% compared to 12.6% as a whole for the state.

Krob says the Latino population is projected to continue to grow. “If you look at the Latino population, it’s going to drive the population growth in the state of Iowa, at least for the foreseeable future, unless something changes that’s where the population growth is going to occur,” Krob says.

The majority of the Latinos in Iowa have come from Mexico. You can see more about the Latino report on the State Data Center website at: www.iowadatacenter.org.