The difference, of over 48 thousand Portuguese-Americans, indicates that more people wrote “Portuguese” in the question of ethnic origin, after a strong campaign by the Portuguese-American Leadership Council (PALCUS) to encourage the count of the Portuguese community.

“During the 2020 Census, there was a unique opportunity for our community to finally prove that there is strength in numbers”, said the president of PALCUS, Katherine Soares, in statements sent to Lusa.

“We are happy because not only do these numbers show that our community is growing, but also that the Portuguese population in the United States is no longer just an estimate or approximation”, highlighted the person in charge.

“We now have official numbers that tell us how many there are and where we are,” she declared.

Portuguese origin is the 13th most registered in the country, ahead of origins such as Swiss, British, Greek or Danish.


The state with the largest Portuguese-American population is California, which now officially has 350,011 people of Portuguese origin. The previous number, from estimates by the American Community Survey (ACS), was 347,000.

Massachusetts has 265,455 Portuguese-Americans, Hawaii 91,003, Florida 84,486 (one of the states that has grown the most in Portuguese population), Rhode Island 83,414, New Jersey 82,964, New York 58,093, Connecticut 50,077 and Texas 40,688.

The 2020 Census was the first in which the U.S. Census Bureau assigned a code to Portuguese, with two sub-identifications for Azoreans and Madeirans.

Previous figures for the Portuguese population in the United States came from estimates offered by the American Community Survey (ACS) and had been showing a decline.

In the 2010 ACS, Portuguese-Americans numbered 1.405 million and in the 2015 ACS they fell to 1.372 million.

For the president of PALCUS, the reversal of this trend reflects the results of the incentive work carried out by the organization.

“The increase in the Portuguese population revealed in the 2020 Census data demonstrates that our national campaign, Make Portuguese Count, led by previous director Marie Fraley, was effective in informing the Portuguese-American community about the importance of self-identifying as Portuguese”, stated Katherine Soares.