An annual report highlighting Latinos’ impact on the U.S. economy shows that Latinos have accounted for 73% of the growth in U.S. labor force participation from 2010 through 2020.
The report released by the Latino Donor Collaborative by researchers at Arizona State University indicates that in 2021, the total economic output of U.S. Latinos was $3.2 trillion. The amount of consumption by U.S. Latinos would make it the fifth largest economy in the world alone, behind just the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.
While the U.S. itself had a 2% annual growth in gross domestic product from 2011 through 2021, the GDP growth of U.S. Latinos was at 4% per year during the same time.
Researchers noted that the median age of Latinos is lower than the rest of the U.S., meaning their importance to the U.S. economy will become even greater.
“Without question, the U.S. Latino economy is a force to be reckoned with, driven by robust GDP growth, significant population growth, the strongest workforce participation rate, and increased educational attainment,” Sol Trujillo, co-founder of the Latino Donor Collaborative, said. “It is imperative that we now invest in the future of our country by investing in U.S. Latinos. This is not about diversity and inclusion. This is just business.”
The report noted that in 2011, labor force participation among non-Latinos was about 64%. A decade later, the percentage dropped to 62%. Meanwhile, participation among Latinos held steady at around 68%.
Also, 2021 marked the first time Latinos were more likely than non-Latinos to have a bachelor’s degree, the report said.
The report said that real annualized wage and salary growth among Latinos was nearly twice as much as non-Latinos from 2011 through 2021.
But there remain challenges for Latinos across the U.S. The Census Bureau reports that Hispanics were twice as likely to be in poverty than non-Hispanic White Americans.
Median income among Hispanics was 25% lower than White Americans as of 2021, the Census Bureau says.
The Census Bureau says the terms Latino and Hispanic are generally used interchangeably.