More than one in eight people in the u. s. population are of spanish or latin american origin. Collectively, this group is referred to as hispanics or latinos. The census bureau estimates that by the end of the year 2050, hispanics will constitute about one-quarter of the u. s. population. 2000 showed 35. 3 million latinos, outnumbering the 34. 7 million african americans: some prevailing images of hispanic settlements in the united states are no longer accurate. They are generally urban dwellers: 86 percent live in metropolitan areas, in contrast to 73 percent of the general population. Some hispanics have moved away from their traditional areas of settlement. In 1940, 88 percent of puerto ricans residing in the united states lived in. New york city, but by the 2000 census the proportion had dropped to less than a third. Mexican americans: a large number of mexicans became aliens in the united states without ever crossing any border.