By Roberta Maynard. The Latino population is growing, but where? It's happening in four distinct types of places, according to a study by The Brookings Institution, in Washington, D.C.

Among the 100 largest MSAs, growth continues in the 16 established metro areas that have long attracted Latinos, including, New York, Chicago, and Houston. A little more than half of the Latinos in the United States live in these 16 metro areas, with the largest concentration in Miami (57 percent) and Los Angeles (45 percent). But as the overall Latino population grows, these traditional gateways are giving way to new destinations.

Since 1980, a quarter of all U.S. Latinos gravitated toward these new areas. In the 1990s, each of the 51 "new destination" cities experienced a Hispanic growth rate of at least 42 percent. Eighteen of them — 11 of which are in the Southeast — have been dubbed "hypergrowth" sites. Topping the list of new gateways are Atlanta, North Carolina metros, and Washington, D.C.

Published in BIG BUILDER Magazine, December 2002