Large-scale Latino immigration to North Carolina first began in the 1960s as Cubans moved to the state following the Cuban Revolution. Mexican immigrants began moving to the state in the 1980s, but it wasn't until the following decade that North Carolina's Latino population began to increase quickly and dramatically. In 1990, the state's Latino population was 76,700. By 2010, the Latino population was estimated to be over 800,000 or 8.4% of the state's total population. Latino immigrants are present in each of North Carolina's 100 counties and the population is densest along the I-40/I-85 corridor and near military bases.
The Latino population has made major contributions to North Carolina's economy and culture. This research guide is designed to assist researchers investigating Latino immigration and life in North Carolina. Some resources, such as the Southern Oral History Program, record the stories and voices of Latino residents in the state. Other materials include government-issued broadsides and secondary sources that discuss the lives and work of the state's Latino communities. Many resources cover the public reaction to various legislative and municipal decisions regarding access to services, employment, public health, and education. All of the resources included in this guide can be found at UNC's Wilson Special Collections Library and many can also be found online. This guide does not include all of the titles about Latino communities held at Wilson Library, but is intended to serve as a starting point for research.