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Afro-Latinos are a major reason why the Latino cohort as a whole has major economic effects. Graphic: Hispanic Star
Afro-Latinos are a major reason why the Latino cohort as a whole has major economic effects. Graphic: Hispanic Star

U.S. Afro-Latinos would rank among the top 25 economies in the world

Twenty-four percent of the $2.1 trillion GDP of the Latino community is contributed by Afro-Latinos.

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Just as the Latino community would represent the 8th biggest economy in the world if it was a single country, “the Afro-Latino community would rank within the top 25 economies in the world,” says Claudia Romo Edelman, founder and president of We Are All Human Foundation.

At least 24% of the total $2.1 trillion GDP made by the Latino community might be contributed by Afro-Latinos, according to recently shared and highlighted data by the foundation 

The approximate calculation is based on the fact that Afro-Latinos’ most common countries of origin in the U.S. — Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela—tend to have more presence in 'white-collar' jobs than Hispanics overall. 

In total, 75.9% of Afro-Latinos participate in the U.S. workforce. 

Romo Edelman adds that Afro-Latinidad should be embraced as an identity because, in many occasions, Afro-Latinos are 'forced' to pick between their ‘Latinidad’ and their African heritage. 

“We believe that no one should be forced to pick. On the contrary, both, their Latino and their African heritage must be celebrated,” she says. 

Data provided by We Are All Human Foundations states that 14.4 million Latinos in the U.S. self-identify as Afro-Latinos with 73% of them being U.S.-born citizens.

But what still needs to be done to elevate more Afro-Latinos voices in our communities? Romo Edelman says that it’s necessary to take every opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the rich Afro-Latino cultural heritage and impact on the country. 

“By doing so, we acknowledge that everyone brings a special mix to the table and can contribute to this great country in its own unique way,” she says. 

The powerful Afro-Latinos cultural heritage is and has been present in sports, music, politics, literature, food and more for a long time. Celia Cruz, Roberto Clemente, Dascha Polenca, Zoe Saldanda, Ariana Brown, and Carmelo Anthony are just a few names among those that have made major impacts. 

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