A New Look At How Latinos Are Powering the U.S. Economy
EXCERPT: NBC News
A new report puts a price tag on the Latino population in the United States, and it is over two trillion dollars. This economic power, says the report, would rank as the 7th largest in the world if the Latino GDP (Gross Domestic Product) were its own country.
Headed by University of California, Los Angeles Professor David E. Hayes-Bautista, and Werner Schink, CEO of Latino Futures Research, the report commissioned by the non-partisan group Latino Donor Collaborative estimates the total GDP of the Latino population based on data that is publicly available at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Hayes-Bautista said that most studies on Latino economic power look at Hispanics one-dimensionally, through their spending power.
“I’ve been studying Latinos for over 40 years, and you can point out some amazing things about Latinos, but people just yawn. But if you reframe Latinos in terms investors can understand, by size and growth rate, we can have a better idea of Latinos' importance in the U.S. economy," said Hayes-Bautista, professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the School of Medicine, UCLA.
According to the report, “The U.S. Latino GDP is growing 70 percent faster that the country’s non-Latino GDP.”
When you look at burgeoning cities throughout the country since the 1970s, Latinos have revitalized or saved those regions from massive decline as the non-Latino white population ages.
“Latinos work more hours, work less in the public sector, and have the lowest rates of welfare utilization," Hayes-Bautista said. Yet despite their low relative burden to taxpayers, “their reward is the highest level of poverty in the nation.”
If the U.S. realized how vital Latinos are to the future of the United States, there would be greater investment in education, infrastructure, job training, and health care