Hispanics Say They Suffer at a Higher Rate in the Downhill Economy


            As evidenced by a telephone survey performed by the Pew Hispanic Center, a majority of Hispanics (54%) agree that the Hispanic/Latino demographic has been hit harder during the economic slump that the United States has been undergoing since 2007. Hispanics, who make up roughly 16% of the general population, have been experiencing a higher percentage of adversity throughout this economic crisis in all areas; such as unemployment rates and financial stability. Despite these, what seem to be discouraging, findings, most Hispanics do believe that they’ll see an improvement in their economic situation during the next year.

            Comparatively to the overall public, almost three-fifths (59%) of Latinos have either personally been out of work or have had a member of their household unemployed during the last year. An even more appalling statistic could be the almost 80% of the Hispanic population that can only rank their financial status as “poor” or at best “only fair”. Since December of 2007, the unemployment rate among Latinos has dramatically increased from 6.3% to 11% in December of 2011; while the national unemployment rate has only risen from 5% to 8.5%. The poverty rates among Latinos have also escalated from 20.6% to 26.6% between the years 2006 and 2010, in comparison to the miniscule rise of 8.2% to 9.9% among whites. In spite of these disheartening statistics, two-thirds (67%) of Hispanics seem to have a more optimistic view than the general population (58%) for their future financial success within the next year.

            Latinos may have a more hopeful outlook for their future, however, they differ on various success rates between the immigrant and US born population. Immigrants seem to have a less bright view on their current economic situation with a dim 16% saying that their situation was “excellent” or “good” and only 63% expect improvement within the year, as compared to the 32% and 71% of the native born population. Immigrants are, however, more optimistic when it comes to their children’s future with 72% saying that they expect that they will eventually have a higher standard of living than the one that they are currently situated in; only 59% of the native born population foresees this occurring.

            Other demographics within the Hispanic population also vary when it comes to financial hardships. 70% of Latinos, ages 18 to 29, have either been unemployed themselves or have had a member of the household without work; which is much greater than those 30 to 49 (57%) or those 65 and older (51%). Education levels also come into effect when judging financial success. It seems that the less education one achieves, the higher your economic hardships will be; with 65% of Latinos with less than a high school diploma claiming to have been unemployed within the year compared to the 53% who received at least some college education. The percentage of unemployment among Hispanics also seems to be higher amid those who are not registered to vote (64%) in comparison to those who are registered (53%).

            Overall, Hispanics have seemed to receive the short end of the stick when it comes to economic success during the current financial downslide the United States has been suffering through but are more optimistic when it comes to their future. To find out more on this study, please visit the Pew Hispanic Center. 

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