History of the Latin population in the United States

To obtain a better understanding of the historical moment that the ever-growing Latin Community in the United States is experiencing we need to look at some numbers and some history:

On January 22, 2003, the first page of The New York Times had as a headline that there were more Latinos than Afro-Americans in the United States. Soon after, the census bureau published that since July 2002 there were more Hispanics (38.8 million) than African-Americans (38.2 million) in the United States; in this way officially declared Latinos as the biggest minority in the United States.

Short demographic history of the Latino community in the United States

Professor Leobardo Estrada, a sociologist, in his book “Latinos and the Nation’s Future” edited by Henry Cisneros (Former Housing Secretary during the Clinton administration), in May 2009, presents an analysis of the demographic implications that life events like marriage, education, death, births, etc., have in the Latin society as well as in the future of the United States.

Professor Estrada demonstrates the growth of the Latin population, using as a base that when the Southwestern states became part of the United States, there were about 160,000 persons of Spanish origin in the United States and its territories.

  • The number of Latinos born outside the United States reached 1 million when Andrew Jackson was president.
  • When J. F. Kennedy was president, the number of Latinos reached 5 million.
  • When Richard Nixon was president, the number of Latinos reached 10 million.
  • When Ronald Reagan was president, the number of Latinos reached 20 million.
  • When Bill Clinton was president, the number of Latinos reached 30 million.
  • It was during the George W. Bush administration that the number of Latinos reached 40 million.
  • President Obama saw the number of Latinos reach 50 million.
  • In the last 2020 census with the Donald Trump government, Latinos reached more than 65 million.

Larry D’Arrigo

Statistics and Growth of the Latin Community in the United States

If we look at the young Latinos, the numbers are more impressive than those of the Latin community in general. In a recent study, the Hispanic Center (PEW) published on May 31st, 2009, concluded that Hispanics under 18 years of age represent 22% of the Hispanic population, more than one for every five of the population in the United States.

These numbers reflect a significant increase since 1980 when the same demographic group represented just 9%.

Pew also affirms that in the same manner in which the numbers changed, the demographic characteristics also changed.

There are about 16 million Hispanic children and youngsters under 18 years of age in the United States, 52% of this group are part of a “second generation” according to PEW in its study “Hispanic children: The development of the second generation, based on the census bureau statistics

These numbers show that the children belong to at least one parent born outside the United States, typically from immigrants that came from Mexico, Central America, Latin America, or the Caribbean during the immigration wave of 1980.

About 11% of Latin children are “first generation”, born in a foreign country, and 37% of the Latin children are “third generation or greater”, born of Hispanic parents born in the United States. These changes, the PEW study shows, are important because the social, economic, and demographic characteristics of the Latin children “vary substantially according to the status of the generational background”.

According to the study, two-thirds of the 1.7 million Latin children born outside the United States are illegal immigrants while none of the 6 million children that belong to the third generation are, since they were born in the country where their parents were born, and both are American Citizens.

Among the children that belong to the second generation, almost 4 out of 10 have at least one legal immigrant parent and live in families with mixed immigration status.

The projections of the census bureau indicate that toward the year 2025, almost three of each ten children in this country will have Latin ethnic origin.

During the last two decades, the numbers show, the Latin community had an impressive rate of growth because of births and new immigration.

Larry D’Arrigo

High fertility index to sustain the population growth

When we speak of the growth of a population, fertility is a key factor. In 2005, the fertility index (average number of children for one family) was 1.7 for Asian women, 1.8 for white non-Hispanic women, 2.0 for Afro-American women, and 2.9 for Latin women.

The key to understanding the impact of these differences is to understand that it is necessary to have a fertility index of 2.1 to sustain the growth of any group of people in the world based on births alone.

We can conclude, therefore, that Latinos are the only ethnic group with sufficient births to grow and sustain the density of their population depending on births only.
Demographic studies show that the Latin population grows at a constant rate and higher than that of other groups.

According to projections, the Hispanic population grows at an annual rate of 3.4%, the Asian population grows at a rate of 3.2%, Afro-Americans grow at the rate of 1.3% and whites non-Hispanic grow at a rate of 0.3%.

Larry D’Arrigo

Latin population younger

On May 14 of 2009, the census bureau disclosed that the Hispanic population is much younger than the total population, with an average age of 27.7 years in 2008, compared to 36.8 years for the total population of the United States. A total of 34 % of the Hispanic population had less than 18 years and 6% had 65 years of age or more.

The average age for Afro-Americans was 30.3 years in 2008. Around 30% of the Afro-American population had less than 18 years of age, while 8% of the population had 65 years or more.

The average age for Asians was 34.2% years in the year 2008. Almost 26% of the Asian population had less than 18 years of age, while 9% had 65 years or more.

The white non-Hispanic population was much older than the total population, with an average age of 41.1 years in 2008. Around 21% of the white non-Hispanic, population had 18 years of age while 16% had 65 years or more.

Today, Hispanics represent close to half of the total growth of the nation.

Larry D’Arrigo


Larry D’Arrigo

Latino Youth, the Treasure of the United States

LOS ANGELES TIMES: July 16, 2021
By: Arcelia Serrano

For the United Nations Organization, youth is a person who is between 15 and 24 years old; In the United States this same definition has been taken, but not in the Mexican case; In Mexico, young people are those between the ages of 12 and 29.

Be that as it may, young people are a powerful group whose main advantage is precisely their young age and enough energy to join the working life, in companies existing ones or forming their own, or in an endless number of projects thanks to the new technologies. Without any fear, it can be said that young people are the future of the country and young Latinos are the future of the United States.

In the United States, there are currently 42 million young people (between 15 and 24 years old), and they represent 13% of the total population of the country. Just for reference, adults aged 60 and over represent 24% of the population, that is, they are almost double the young population. Both in the white population, as well as among Afro-Americans and Asians, only 1 in 10 are young, but among Latinos, the proportion is 2 out of 10.

Thus, of the total number of young people in the country, a quarter is of Latino origin. Just 5 years ago these young people represented less than a fifth of the total. This means that their number has been increasing. But not because of migration but because the number of Americans who have Latino roots has increased, that is, they are children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of Latino immigrants

Among these young Latinos, 84% are born in the United States, only 3% are naturalized, 6% have Legal Permanent Residence and 7% do not have documents, but of the latter who do not have documents, 6 out of 10 arrived in the US. In the US being under 16 years of age, that is, they fall into the category of Dreamers.

To date, 6 out of 10 young people of Latino origin have completed High School or more, and among them, 24% have a college degree and 10% have a bachelor’s degree. That is, they have been prepared or are in the process.

At least half of Latino youth are already working in activities as varied as business administration, financial occupations, administrative support, and even agriculture, construction, or transportation of people. And of those who work, at least a third continue studying, that is, they combine working life with education. Latino youth are ending the stigma that has accompanied the community for so long and according to which Latinos occupy only low-skilled and low-paying positions.

On the other hand, there are non-Hispanic whites, among whom the prevalence and increased aging, currently close to a third of whites are 60 or older, while among Latinos only a tenth are that age. The average age among whites is 43 years, among African Americans, it is 37 years, among Asians it is 38, while among Latinos it is 31 years.

These data are a sample of why we affirm that the United States has a great wealth and a great treasure in Latino youth. Because they are the ones who in the coming years will be fully incorporated into working life, many of them work and pay taxes, benefiting the American economy, and on whom, without a doubt, much of the weight will fall to sustain the pension system, increasingly demanding resources in the US.

So beyond the divisive discourses, which still prevail in some areas of the country, it is important to recognize that Latino youth contribute and will contribute even more so that the United States continues to be the economy most important in the world.

Larry D’Arrigo

Latinos in the United States support two major economies 1

To be Latino in the United States implies a double sacrifice, we work twice as hard in many cases, twice the learning process, twice the process of adaptation, and at the same time, support with our jobs two economic systems: the economic system of the United States, the country that gave us refuge (according to the magazine Hispanic Business, in 2022 Latinos businesses moved more than the US $800,000 thousand of millions), and the Latin American system where our families live.

In 2022, Latinos sent a total of more than US $146,000 million dollars to their families in Latin America to represent an important economic help to our families and to the economy of each county in Latin America. In some countries of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, these monies represent a good source of income. One of the most benefited countries is Mexico where the money sent from the United States, plays a major role in the Mexican economic system.

Let us keep in mind that one of the great commercial partners of the United States is Latin America, it is easy to understand that Latin America will consume American products, and part of the money that we send there will return to enrich the United States economy.

Larry D’Arrigo

Latinos in the United States represent the eighth-largest economy in the world

Above are countries like Brazil or Canada, according to a report published this Thursday. Latinos make up 18% of the total US population.

The Latino population in the United States represents a gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.3 trillion dollars, which would make it the eighth largest economy in the world, above countries like Brazil or Canada, according to a report published this Thursday.

The report, published by the Latino Donor Collaborative Organization and academics from California Lutheran University and the University of California at Los Angeles, points out that the growth of the (GDP) of the Hispanic population in the United States has remained stable in recent years.

According to the study, the monetary value of the production of goods and services by Latinos went from 1.7 trillion dollars in 2010 to 2.3 trillion dollars in 2017, the last year for which reports are available.

That figure would be higher than the current 2 trillion dollars in Italy, 1.9 in Brazil, or 1.2 in Mexico, and would be only behind the United States as a whole, with some 20.4 trillion, China, Japan, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and France.

Sol Trujillo, president and founder of the Latino Donor Collaborative, lamented that for years the importance of the Latino community in the economic growth of the country was ignored and explained the reason for studying the contribution of the Latino community.

“The idea was to create a document that tells what is really happening with Latinos in the United States. They are not people climbing or getting under walls as they say today”, he told Efe in reference to the vision that former President Donald Trump wanted to give to Latinos at that time.

Part of this economic growth is due to the increase in the Latino population, with a rate six times higher than that of the rest of the population in the United States, while their participation in the labor force is increasingly relevant.
Matthew Fineup, the co-author of the report and executive director of the Center for Economic Estimation and Research at California Lutheran University, explained that although Latinos make up 18% of the total population in the United States, they are responsible for 82% of the growth of the forced labor since the financial crisis of 2008.
“It is not about building walls, what the United States needs is workers and for that, we need a reasonable conversation”; said, Trujillo.

According to data provided in the study, by the year 2022 the retirement rate will reach a peak of 345,000 retirees per month, and to sustain this population, the United States will require an average of 700,000 new workers per month. That is where the new generations of Latinos become the fundamental workforce to sustain the country, explained David Hayes-Bautista, co-author of the report and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Culture and Health at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In addition, a change is taking place in the Latino profile, since 90% of the so-called “post-millennials”; Latinos graduated from high school and 70% are about to enter university, added the academic.

“They are workers young and better educated who have significantly higher incomes than their parents and grandparents. They are the ones who are pushing the economy,” added Trujillo. EFE

Larry D’Arrigo

Demographic, Political, and Cultural Revolution of the Latin Community in the United States

The demographic revolution is also a cultural, political, and social revolution, explains Jorge Ramos, a journalist for the Univisión network, in his book “La Ola Latina”. The growth and influence of the Latino community are significantly changing the power structures within the United States and the way we live in this country.

Nothing can be foreign to the Latin presence, the future of the United States and the growth of the Latino community are inexorably entrenched.

And is that being Latino, which implies a particular way of being and thinking, is changing the destiny of the United States and even the way of doing politics in this country. You don’t have to be a political expert to understand that Latinos with their vote have the power to influence a Presidential election. The political strength of Hispanic voters lies in defining very close elections in states that have many electoral votes.

It is easy to argue that Latinos in Florida decided the 2000 presidential election in favor of GW Bush and that Latino votes in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico re-elected the same president in 2004. In the 2008 elections, the massive support of Latino voters gave Senator Barack Obama victory as the new President of the United States.

Latinos were especially influential in the last presidential elections, in which turnout increased in five swing states, they went from former President Donald Trump, in 2016, to President Joe Biden, in 2020.

However, strong Latin participation also helped Trump keep Florida and Texas, where counties with great Hispanic populations voted for Republicans in historically high numbers.

On Thursday, March 2, 2023, elected experts and officials gathered at Washington DC for an event, organized by Televisa Univision, in which it was concluded that in the United States, there are about 65 million Latinos of which 36 million will be eligible for Voting in the 2024 elections and there was talk about the importance and power of Latin vote for the next elections.

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, from Nevada, said that she won her re-election in November 2022 thanks to the Latino vote.

As the number of Latinos who become US citizens and go out to vote increases, and in the case of those who came from children or the children of Latinos (every month more than 80,000 Latino youth in the United States reach the age of 18 and become eligible to vote) the strength of the Latino vote will take on new dimensions, each time having an important weight in the states and regions where the Latino population is historically concentrated.

In the near future, any transcendental decision that this nation makes will have to go through the irremediable filter of the Latino vote. And any politician who tries to ignore the opinion and needs of our community will run the risk of being ignored at the polls for our vote.

Larry D’Arrigo

My personal experience

The research and study to create the “Latin American flag” has shown me the greatness of out beloved native country. To love not only my Peruvian flag, but also to love and understand each one of the flags of our countries. Like any other citizen of Latin America, I came to this country proud of the colors of my flag, but sharing life and experiences with citizens of Latin America and in the process of analysis to study their history, I learned what the symbols of each one of our flags represent. I learned about courage, honor, struggles for liberty and the sacrifices to build free nations and sovereign governments that are Latin America today.

Now I feel that my country is not only Peru but that all of Latin America is my big beloved native country and I feel it as mine as my own country. It is a wonderful feeling, to know that my family grew and that in spite of its diversity, I can rejoice with my Latin brothers in each region that I travel visit.
In the same way that we love our Latin American brothers, we also want to work to solidify the Latin American Union. We want to think of a future for one Latin America that relies in our own efforts and sacrifices.

I came to the United States with my own dreams, but today I feel that my dreams have grown bigger and that it is the dream of many to continue forward to add my little contribution in the consolidation of Latin American the big native country. I also want to see that my Latino brothers in the United States, achieve their emotional and economic stability with a just immigration reform. Even if times turn difficult we will continue to struggle, convinced that all our dreams will become reality.

Larry D’Arrigo