Mapping Hispanic and Latino/e/x culture in Washington state

Hispanic and Latino populations in Washington state. (Courtesy: Washington State Office of Financial Management)



To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, NWPB wants to take you on a journey through the diversity of Hispanic and Latino/e/x communities in the region.

There are more than a million Hispanics or Latinos living in Washington. Mexican heritage is very common, but those of many other backgrounds are making their way into the Northwest. 

“That is the beauty of Latinos in the state of Washington and Latinos in the U.S.  that we’re so diverse,” said Christina Torres.   

Torres is the Director of El Centro Latinx, the Latino and Latin American Studies Program at Central Washington University. 

“We see more and more individuals coming from Colombia, from Guatemala, from Honduras,” she said. “We see individuals coming from South America, who are contributing to this country in different ways.” 

According to the American Community Survey 2021, Mexicans make up more than 70% of the Hispanic or Latino population in Washington. But even among that group, diversity is enormous and present, said Torres.

“Mexico has several states that have different food, culture, different ideas, different names for things. They speak Spanish different and we’re seeing more and more native speakers of Indigenous languages that are coming,” she said.

Central Americans make up 7% and South Americans 4% of the Hispanic and Latino population in the state. 

According to the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM) Hispanic and Latinos mostly live in Adams (69.2%), Franklin (55.9%) and Yakima (51.9%) counties.

The OFM also noted that, as 2020, people with Hispanic origin lived in western Washington’s largest metropolitan counties: King (233,923), Pierce (100,817), and Snohomish (90,576) counties.