Hispanics now make up the majority of the population in 28 U.S. cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants, most of them located in California, Texas, Florida and New Jersey.

That was revealed Tuesday by statisticians of the Census Bureau during a telephonic press conference that analyzed the latest demographic data for the Latino population, which in the last decade grew four times more than the country's population as a whole.

Though the number of Hispanics has increased nationwide since the year 2000, more than half remain concentrated in three states: California with 27.8 percent, Texas with 18.7 percent, and Florida with 8.4 percent.

In East Los Angeles, 97 percent of the population is Latino, a percentage surpassed only by Puerto Rico, where 99 percent of citizens are Hispanic.

Latinos currently represent 70 percent or more of the population in 13 U.S. cities including Santa Ana, Salinas, Oxnard and Pomona in California; Laredo, Brownsville, McAllen and El Paso in Texas; and Miami.

The Census Bureau uses the terms "Latino" and "Hispanic" interchangeably to denote those citizens residing in the United States who define themselves as "of Latino, Hispanic, or Spanish" origin.

Demographics of the Hispanic population are consequently based on the roots people identify as their own and not on their place of birth.

The Census does not ask about the immigration status of residents nor about other ethnic matters such as how well the person speaks English.

The information provided by the Census on Hispanics is key both for legislative redistricting and for deciding on the distribution of resources and services to each community based on its makeup and needs.

The number of Hispanics in the United States increased 43 percent between 2000 and 2010, a growth rate more than four times that of the overall population.

Latinos made up 15.2 million of the 27.3 million new residents the United States gained over the decade.

Numbering 31.8 million, Mexicans are by far the biggest national group within the U.S. Hispanic population, accounting for 63 percent nationwide and constituting the majority of Latinos in 40 of the 50 states.

Next come the 4.6 million from Puerto Rico, who are U.S. citizens by birth, followed by the 1.8 million people of Cuban origin.

Three other Hispanic national groups reached or surpassed the 1 million mark between 2000 and 2010: Salvadorans, 1.6 million; Dominicans, 1.4 million; and Guatemalans, 1 million.