One in six people in the United States are Hispanic, representing 17% of the total U.S. population.1 This rapidly growing population faces significant health disparities, or avoidable and unfair differences in health status between segments of the population. Additionally, given the diversity within the Hispanic population, differences are also seen within subgroups.

What are the causes of these disparities?

There are many underlying causes for these health disparities. Some examples include poverty, inadequate access to health care, educational inequalities, language barriers, individual and environmental factors, as well as bias in the medical profession. Some social factors that may play a role in health are:

  • About one in three does not graduate from high school.2
  • About one in four lives below the poverty line.2
  • About one in three does not speak English well.2

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Hispanic family outdoors smiling

1Hispanic Heritage Month 2017, U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 1-Year, October 2017, https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/newsroom/facts-for-features/2017/cb17-ff17.pdf

2Hispanic Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2015, https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/hispanic-health/