How Latinos Changed the American Landscape

How Latinos Changed the American Landscape
How Latinos Changed the American Landscape
Data: Jie Zong, 2022, “A mosaic, not a monolith: a profile of the Latin American population, 2000-2020”; Graphic: Madison Dong/Axios Visuals

A review of Latino life over a 20-year period has revealed growing diversity and major educational and economic gains, though some inequalities remain, according to a new report from the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute.

The big picture: The report, which compared US census data from 2000 and 2o20, paints a picture of how much Latinos are changing the American landscape — and how it has changed them, too.

By the numbers: Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants still make up the largest share of Latino Americans (59%), but the share of people from South and Central America is growing rapidly, largely due to the political and economic instability in these countries.

  • There has been a 550% increase in the number of Venezuelans living in the United States between 2000 and 2020.
  • There was a 356% increase in Paraguayans.
  • Hondurans and Guatemalans have also experienced tremendous growth in the United States

The Latino population grew fastest in the southern United States and the Midwest during this period, according to the report.

  • North Dakota and South Dakota had the fastest Latino population growth – 333% and 265%.
  • South Carolina saw a 207% jump while Alabama suffered a 202% increase.
  • The migration of Latinos to the Midwest and South was largely the result of agricultural jobs, José G. Villagrán, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at San Antonio, told Axios, adding that many faced the alienation and discrimination.

The plot: The proportion of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree or higher doubled from 10% to 20%, according to the report.

  • The homeownership rate for Latinos rose from 49% to 56%.
  • The rate of Latino American citizens rose from 71% to 82%.
  • “This is one of those myths that we’re trying to dispel across the United States. People in the United States still see Latinos as foreigners,” said Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, research director at the Latino Policy and Politics Institute.

Reports note the many ways Latinos have made progress over the past two decades, but Jennie Luna, a professor of Chicana/o studies at California State University Channel Islands, told Axios she’s skeptical things have improved much.

  • Luna said she lives in an agricultural area in Ventura County, California, where there is a housing shortage and an increase in living experiences. “It eats away at the data in this report.”

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. Latinos Changed American Landscape

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