Did you know that Latinos make up one in five Americans, according to the US Census Bureau? By 2060, that number is expected to increase to one in four, totaling 119 million people. With that in mind, it’s hard to deny that this community plays a key role in the US economy.
Consider these numbers: Latinos in the US generate $2.8 trillion annually, which is equivalent to the combined GDP of Mexico and Brazil. If they were an independent country, they would be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP larger than that of the UK, India, or France.
These figures come from a recent report commissioned by the Latino Donor Collaborative, an independent and self-funded organization aimed at highlighting the socioeconomic role of this ethnic group. The report was prepared by experts from two California universities.
The Latino GDP of 2020 was estimated at $2.8 trillion, up from $2.1 trillion in 2015 and $1.7 trillion in 2010. While the pandemic did impact the Latino GDP, it contracted less than that of other ethnic groups, such as non-Latino whites.
Latinos are also the third-fastest-growing economy of the last decade, behind China and India. Their success is largely due to their demographic growth. In the last decade, the Latino population in the US increased by 19%, while the overall population increased by only 7%.
Latinos are also a young population, contributing to a larger proportion of the US workforce. They are increasingly obtaining higher education, which allows them to access better-paying jobs with more benefits, further accelerating economic growth. Additionally, Latinos are the most entrepreneurial group, with one in every 200 Latinos starting a business each month. There are 4.7 million businesses in the US owned by Latinos, generating over $800 billion.
Despite this, access to bank credit remains a significant challenge for Latino entrepreneurs, according to the President and CEO of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ramiro Cavazos.
Improving access to capital and increasing representation in growing sectors could contribute an additional $2.3 trillion in revenue to the economy and create 750,000 new businesses, generating over 6 million jobs.
These calculations are based on those who self-identify as Latinos or Hispanics, including US-born individuals of Latinx descent and immigrants, both legal and undocumented.
It’s clear that the Latino community’s economic impact is significant and growing, and it’s time to recognize and support it.