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Study shows Latinos as a fundamental axis of the U.S. economy

7 out of 10 Americans surveyed attribute great influence to the country's growth.

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This is established by the survey carried out by BSP Research, commissioned by the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA), UnidosUS, Raben Group and Friends of the American Latino Museum.

Details were published by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

However, while the study highlights that the U.S. Hispanic population has the highest workforce contribution rate (65.6%) and has started more small businesses than any other population group over the past decade, stereotypes are still present among Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

“We are glad to see that, comparing the results of this survey with our 2012 LDC Perception of Latinos Report, the needle has moved from Latinos mostly being perceived as ‘takers’ to being mostly perceived as ‘contributors’ today. Still, there is much work to do, specifically with media which has the capacity to help eliminate damaging stereotypes,” Ana Valdez, executive director of the Latino Donor Collaborative, told the publication.

Findings 

Among the most important results of the survey, these are highlighted:

  • Latinos command the highest rates of business creation, demonstrating their role as entrepreneurs and business leaders.
  • Latinos are most often mistakenly viewed as essential workers or farmworkers (48% of non-Latinos see Hispanics in these roles).
  • More than 75% of Americans feel that Hispanic immigrants have much to offer the country.
  • Non-Latinos estimate the proportion of US-born Latinos to be as low as 31%, when it is actually 67%.
  • Some 45% of non-Latinos (especially whites) expressed their belief that increased Hispanic voter turnout would not make a difference to the country, though they agreed that elected officials would also pass more laws that would benefit the group.
  • More than 50% of Black and Asian adults in the United States said we would be better off as a country if more Hispanics voted.

“Business leaders—both non-Latino and Latino—play a critical role in driving an accurate story of the Latino community and its huge impact on the American economy. We need business leaders everywhere to lean in, learn more, and speak up about the dynamism and success of the Latino community. Otherwise, these misconceptions and contradictory views of our community will continue to slow progress for everyone,” stated Esther Aguilera, president and CEO of LCDA.

Breaking Down Stereotypes

Other key findings from the survey conducted among 2,200 Americans between the end of August and the beginning of September 2021, include the analysis of different misperceptions and positive concepts looking to the future:

  • Latinos comprise 18.7% of the U.S. population, but non-Latinos overestimate that figure by several points (38%).
  • U.S.-born Latinos make up two-thirds of the overall Latino population, but all groups estimate that the majority are immigrants.
  • More than 75% of Americans believe that Latino immigrants have much to offer this country and are an economic boost (Asian, 87%; Black, 85%; White, 76%).
  • Many non-Latinos also believe that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs that Americans depend on (Asian, 55%; White, 53%; Black, 49%), even though undocumented immigrants make up only 13% of all Latinos in the U.S.
  • More than 60% of non-Latinos feel they know Latinos well enough to work together on common causes (68% White, 66% Black, 63% Asian).
  • More than 60% of non-Latinos interact personally with Latinos on a regular basis, and more than 80% have relationships with Latinos in a variety of social or professional settings.
  • Despite personal relationships and frequent contact, only about half of Americans believe that Latinos share their values, even among Latinos themselves (Latino, 57%; Black, 56%; White, 53%; Asian, 48%).

“This poll has good news and bad news for our community. The good news is that most Americans recognize the importance of Latinos and Latinas to our economy and appreciate our work ethic and values. The bad news is that most Americans also believe in widely inaccurate and negative myths and stereotypes—perpetuated by the news and social media—about our size and immigration status that are holding our country back from making the investments and enacting the policies that will benefit both our community and our nation. Overcoming these misconceptions and telling a more positive and accurate story about the Hispanic community, then, is even more important for the future of us all,” highlighted Janet Murguía, UnidosUS president and CEO.

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