When we consider where Latinos live in the U.S., we don’t usually think of states in the Deep South. We think of California, Texas, and New York; not Mississippi, Georgia, or Alabama.
Census reports, as of 2012, show that the states with the highest percentage of Latino residents are all in the West and Southwest, followed by Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois to round out the Top 10. But if you rank states where the Latino population is growing the fastest, 8 of the top 10 spots are taken by Southern states. And each of those states has at least doubled its Latino demographic between 2000 and 2010.
Big demographic shifts are often accompanied by cultural consequences: new foods, new customs, and new music, not to mention new conflicts. So it’s no surprise that there is also a growing interest in Latino culture—including music!—among Southerners who are making room for their new neighbors.