Hearing people speaking Spanish in the grocery store, or around the neighborhood, is a common occurrence for me here in Sarasota County- but not as common as in Texas, where I recently lived. So I wondered how many people in Sarasota County identify as Latino/Hispanic, and are there more (or less) Latino/Hispanic people living in Sarasota County compared to other places in the U.S.? How many more Latino/Hispanic people live in Sarasota County now than just a few years ago?
This neat interactive mapping resource from the American Human Development Project makes it possible to find out. With this tool we can type in our zip code to look at information about our congressional district and compare this to other congressional districts across the country during the period of 2008-2011.
Here’s how it works: enter your zip code and the map zooms in to your Congressional District. Click on the top box on the left-hand side of the screen and select “Demographics” and then “Latino Population (%)” to see what percent of the population identifies as Latino/Hispanic here.
In Florida Congressional District 13 (which is most of Sarasota County), 10.5% of the population identifies as Latino/Hispanic. How does this compare to the percentage of Latino/Hispanic people in other congressional districts in the US? Of all the congressional districts in the country, 10.5% Latino/Hispanic is in the middle of the range: we do not have the highest percentage of people who identify as Latino/Hispanic (that title goes to Congressional District 16 of Texas, where 81.6% of the population identifies as Latino/Hispanic), but about half of the congressional districts do not have as high of a proportion of Latino/Hispanic people as we do. We know that the number of people who identify as Latino/Hispanic has increased in Sarasota County since 2000 (see this previous Data Byte), but this resource helps us see how the proportion of people who identify as Latino/Hispanic in our congressional district has increased since 2008-2009, from 9.8% of the total population.
As a resident, I would be interested in seeing where people who identify as Latino/Hispanic are living within Sarasota County, and how many people speak Spanish as either their first or second language. Which schools have a higher proportion of children who are Latino/Hispanic, and are there teachers at these schools who speak Spanish? What other information could we be paying attention to with regard to the growing number of Latino/Hispanic residents, in order to make our community an even more hospitable place for everyone who lives here? What do Latino/Hispanic residents believe are the most important quality of life indicators here in Sarasota County?
What questions come to mind for you?