Jan 19, 2024 - Food and Drink

NWA has the most Mexican restaurants in the state

Number of Mexican restaurants per 10k residents
Data: SafeGraph; Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Map: Axios Visuals

Washington County has the most Mexican restaurants per capita in Arkansas, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from SafeGraph.

By the numbers: Washington County has a whopping 96 Mexican restaurants, or 3.9 per 10,000 residents. Benton County is close behind with 92 Mexican eateries, or 3.2 per capita.

Zoom out: About 99% of Americans live in a county with at least one Mexican restaurant, Axios' Russell Contreras writes.

The intrigue: The proliferation of Mexican restaurants — once staples only of the Southwest and parts of the Midwest — highlights the growing influence of Mexican Americans on U.S. culture and the effects of increased migration from Mexico over the last 30 years, Contreras writes.

The big picture: About 37.2 million people in the U.S. trace their ancestry to Mexico, making Mexican Americans by far the largest Hispanic origin group in the nation, per the Pew Research Center.

  • They represent 11% of the total U.S. population and could surpass Black Americans, who represent 12.5% of the nation's population, in the next decade.

Alex's thought bubble: I cannot get enough Mexican food and I don't want to live anywhere that doesn't have plenty of places to get it.

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