Hispanics' growing contributions to the U.S. economy

The GDP produced by Hispanics to the U.S. economy in 2019 is equivalent to that of France; it surpasses Italy, Brazil, and Canada. The 2021 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report, supported by the University of California-Mexico Alliance.

Hispanics' growing contributions to the U.S. economy
Hispanic contributions to the U.S. economy are on the rise. Latinos in the U.S. have increased their schooling. Photo by Omar Lopez / Unsplash

If the contributions of Latinos in the United States were an independent economy, it would be the seventh-largest in the world; it would share the site with France and would surpass Brazil, Italy, and Canada, assured the academic of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), David Hayes-Bautista.

The economic strength of this population, which has remained stable within the neighboring country to the north in recent years, would only be surpassed in its gross domestic product (GDP) by the United States as a whole, China, Japan, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and would tie with France.

Presenting at UNAM the 2021 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report, prepared by the Latino Donor Collaborative and academics from California Lutheran University and the University of California at Los Angeles with the support of the University of California-Mexico Alliance, Hayes-Bautista said that the negative public image of Latin Americans in the U.S. contrasts with their growing participation in the economy in various sectors, and does not correspond to reality.

"Latinos are seen in the United States as an underclass, criminals, rapists, drug traffickers, and illegal migrants, but the reality of the figures shows otherwise," he said.

In his study, Hayes-Bautista demonstrated that they are a healthy group, whose death rates are lower than those of the white population concerning the five causes of death in that country (heart disease, cancers, accidents, respiratory diseases, and stroke).

At the UNAM's North American Research Center, and accompanied by the director of the entity, Graciela Martínez-Zalce, the expert also recalled that:

In a previous demographic study she elaborated, she found that in 1980 there were 4.5 million Hispanic Americans in California; she estimated that by 2030 there would be 15.2 million. Nobody believed us, but today we are 15.5 million in that state, and we are still not there yet.

She explained that GDP describes in dollars what geography contributes, so she was interested in calculating the Latino share of the U.S. economy.

For the year of the report, we were 60 million of this population in the United States, we are the second Spanish-speaking country. What have we produced? We are the equivalent of the seventh-largest GDP in the world, which is 2.7 trillion dollars.

This is possible because Latinos participate and increase the labor force in various sectors, raise salaries, have a strong consumption, form households, and buy houses, the expert said.

In addition, Hispanics in the U.S. have increased their schooling, as 87.8 percent of millennial students finish high school, compared to 66.2 percent of other migrant groups; and 47.6 percent finish college, compared to 31.8 percent of non-Latinos.

Part of this economic growth is also due to the increase in the Latino population, with a rate six times higher than that of the rest of the United States.