Latinos Are America's Economic Salvation

At almost 58 million and growing, Hispanics make up the largest minority group in the United States. When it comes to the economic power of this group, consider these figures:Latinos who live and work in the U.S. were responsible for $2.13 billion of gross domestic product in 2015, almost 12 percent of the country's $18.04 billion GDP.And the projections for 2020 are even higher: Latino GDP will account for almost 25 percent of the nation's economic growth, according to David E. Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the University of California at Los Angeles.Hayes-Bautista, who spoke at the State of Hispanic Businesses Forum, hosted by Wells Fargo and the four largest Hispanic chambers of commerce in North Texas, said if the Latino GDP were representative of an independent country, it would be the world's seventh largest. It would be topped only by U.S., China, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and France, and it would be bigger than the GDP of India, Italia, Brazil, Canada or Russia.In an interview, Hayes-Bautista explained his methodology and his projections.Explain the concept of Latino GDP and how you came to that number.For decades, I've researched the Latino contributions to the American society, and I had always noticed the high participation rate on the workforce — the highest of any (demographic) group in 75 years.I have followed Latino businesses (and their) tremendous growth rate. The number almost doubles every five years.As the figure most widely understood by people worldwide is GDP because of the size and growth rate, we decided to estimate the Latino GDP, the total value of products and services produced by Latinos.Then we used the same methods employed by the Department of Commerce, the same databases, so everything matched.It took us almost a year and a half to finally understand the amount we (Latinos) contribute to the U.S. GDP: $2.13 billion, which would be the seventh largest GDP in the world.It was surprising to me. I thought we would be like the 30th economy. But our growth rate is an annual 2.95 percent, 70 percent higher than the non-Latino GDP. We contribute a lot to this country.  Continue reading...

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