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Latinos in review: UCLA report shows 20 years of Latino population changing

Looking at socioeconomic trends for the past 20 years, the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute has gathered much information of the population's changes.

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For the past 20 years, the Latino population in the U.S. has been changing, growing, and developing into a varied and diverse segment of the population — and it’s growing larger every day.

In a report done by the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute, they examine the past 21 years, stretching from 2020 to the beginning of the millennium in 2000.

The Latino population was at an estimated 35 million in 2000, making up 13% of the total population. By 2020, they had nearly doubled, reaching 62.5 million, accounting for 19% of the population.

By 2060, that number will nearly double again as the population swells to 111 million and over one in four people in the U.S. to be Latino. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to be a monoculture.

Presently, two-thirds of all Latinos are U.S.-born. Of these two thirds, Mexicans and Panamanians are the ones most likely to be born in the U.S., though a notable outlier are Puerto Ricans, of which 98% are born in the U.S. due to most becoming citizens when born.

As the population grows, so too does citizenship. The groups showing the most growth in citizenship are Nicaraguans, Bolivians, and Chileans, each increasing by 34% points, 31% points, and 31% points, respectively.

Relative to the average Latino citizenship rate increasing by 11% points, these three groups are receiving citizenship at higher rates, though population numbers aren’t increasing as drastically.

But the diversity of demographics among Latinos doesn’t stop at just which country they have family from; it has economic impact, as well.

As a whole, Latinos have been less likely to experience poverty since 2000, though many still are burdened by it. On average, poverty has decreased for Latinos from 22% to 16%, though Latinos are still third in poverty, with Blacks and Native Americans taking second and first place, respectively.

Within Latinos however, poverty rates vary greatly. Moving against the trend of declining poverty, Guatemalans, Paraguayans, and Uruguayans had slight increases in poverty, while Puerto Ricans declined the most by 10% points, reducing to 19%.

To put these changes in perspective, White groups only had an 8% chance of being in poverty, increasing to 9% over 20 years. On the other end, Native Americans have experienced no change in poverty, staying at 25% for the past 20 years, or one in four Native Americans being impoverished.

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