The Weekly Digest collects the most engaging data points and visuals from recent USAFacts stories. Dive into each report for more metrics, or skim here for a quick understanding of the numbers behind the news.

Celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month

The Hispanic American population increased 23% from 2010 to 2020, reaching 62 million. But this population isn’t just growing, it’s becoming more diverse. To mark the last week of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, USAFacts gathered government data on Hispanic Americans from diverse backgrounds to provide insight into families, educational attainment, and more.

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  • Hispanic populations grew by more than 50% in 12 states between the last two censuses. In 2010, North Dakota had the third-smallest Hispanic population (33,000), but it more than doubled by 2020. New Mexico had the smallest percentage of Hispanic population growth: 5%.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Hispanic Americans with South American backgrounds, including 56% of Venezuelan Americans, have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Overall, 33% of the US population has a bachelor’s degree.
  • With a median age of 41, Cuban Americans are the oldest Hispanic group. Seventeen percent of Cuban Americans are older than 65, while 21% are younger than 18.

Dig deeper into the facts on Hispanic Americans with this special break down of the data.

There are 1 million fewer kids in the US

Census data also reveals that there are 1 million fewer children in the US now than in 2010. And yet, the nation’s overall population grew 10% from 234.6 million to 258.3 million in that time. What states are most affected by this decline? USAFacts sorted the metrics county by county in this new report and interactive map. Here are some key takeaways:

  • From 2010 to 2020, the number of people under 18 dropped 1% from 74.2 million to 73.1 million.

North Dakota led all states in the growth of its child population.

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  • By the end of 2020, Texas added more children than any other state, growing by 6% to 7.3 million. Overall, the state’s population grew 16%.
  • West Virginia’s population declined the most (down 3%) and had a 7% decline in people under 18. Mississippi’s population was down 0.2% but had a 10% decrease in children.
  • The under-18 population grew among Hispanic, Asian, and non-Hispanic multiracial children. Multiracial, non-Hispanic children increased the most of these groups, up 76% to 4.9 million in 2020.
  • Non-Hispanic white children dropped 13%, from 39.7 million in 2010 to 34.6 million in 2020.

Trace growth and declines in your county. You can also learn more about the declining US birth rate (last year’s rate was the lowest since 1979) right here.

The debt ceiling debate

The Senate reached an agreement late last week to raise the nation's debt ceiling through early December. If you're curious why this debate seems to come up fairly often — and it'll be back in the national spotlight this winter — here are the basics. For more, read this explanation from USAFacts

  • The debt ceiling, or debt limit, restricts how much the government can borrow to pay its bills. This limit strictly relates to spending already approved and appropriated by Congress.
  • In 1939, Congress removed various separate limits on government debt and replaced them with a general restriction now referred to as the debt limit.
  • Congress stopped passing annual debt limit increases in fiscal year 2008, using short-term increases instead. It enacted the Budget Control Act in 2011 after multiple failed attempts to raise the debt limit. The act raised the ceiling but imposed automatic, comprehensive cuts proportional to debt limit increases.

Learn more here, including the extraordinary actions the Treasury Department has taken in this century to keep the government funded. 

One last fact

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Last year, Chinese imports to the US were worth $172.5 billion more than Mexican imports. The nation's trade deficit with China has decreased since 2018 while the trade deficit with Mexico, the nation's second-largest trading partner, has increased.

Explore more of USAFacts