December 08, 2011
California is home to the greatest number of people in the United States who claim Latvian ancestry, with New York a close second, according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In all, an estimated 91,096 people claim some Latvian ancestry in the American Community Survey, which is sent annually to a random sample of households. The figure has a margin of error of 2,282, meaning the range of people with Latvian ancestry could be between 88,814 and 93,378.
Updated data from the past five years of the ACS were released Dec. 8. More than 2 million households each year were sampled from 2006 through 2010, according to a press release from the Census Bureau.
An estimated 11,443 people with Latvian ancestry live in California, according to the data, followed by New York with 9,194. The data include both the first and second ancestry reported.
The top 10 states in terms of Latvian population also include Illinois with an estimated 6,982 persons; Florida with 4,921; Massachusetts with 4,706; Michigan with 4,265; New Jersey with 3,946; Pennsylvania with 3,754; Washington with 3,380; and Maryland with 3,289.
The greatest concentration of Latvians continues to be in the Northeast and Upper Midwest of the country, as it has for decades.
Here is a breakdown of the estimated Latvian ethnic population by state, according to the American Community Survey:
|State||Total||Margin of error|
|District of Columbia||297||+/-95|
When grouped by metropolitan areas in the United States, the region that includes New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey accounts for the largest concentration of persons with Latvian ancestry, according to the data. A total of 9,098 Latvians were estimated to live there.
The Chicago metropolitan area is second with an estimated 6,560 Latvians, followed by the Los Angeles region with 4,176. The remaining metropolitan areas in the top 10 include Boston with 3,971; Philadelphia with 2,904; Washington, D.C., with 2,684; Minneapolis-St. Paul with 2,643; Seattle with 2,421; San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., with 2,201; and Miami and Fort Lauderdale with 1,846.
Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000-2012 he was editor of the website.