Latinos comprise the largest ethnic group in the largest state of the union. Today, nearly 40 percent of all California residents are of Latino origin – a number that will only grow over the coming decades. The future of California and the future of its Latino population are one in the same. But when we look at some of the economic and political trends among California’s 14 million Latino residents, there are troubling signs for our community, and for our state’s future.
On March 10, 2017, HOPE published the second phase in a series of report examining the growing role that Latinas are playing in national and statewide economics. The report, “A Snapshot of the Nation, California and the HOPE Sample,” examines demographic and economic trends in the Latina community and highlights the progress made to bridge the gaps between Latinas and other demographic groups.
The study reports that although Latinas are experiencing growth in both population and purchasing power in California, the wage gap between Latinas and white men has expanded, to the point where Latinas earn as little as 35.5 cents to the dollar earned by a white man in some regions.
From a press release issued on March 10, key research findings include:
• A growing population: There are 27.9 million Latinas in the U.S. and 7.4 million Latinas in California. By 2060 over 1 in every 4 women in the U.S. will be Latina. In California, 1 in 5 people are Latina.
• A young population: Latinas are a young demographic with the average age of Latinas in California 17.8 years younger than white women. One in 4 Latinas in both the nation and California are millennials.
• Large proportion of K-12 students: 1 in every 4 children in U.S. public K-12 schools was a Latino in 2016. In California, 1 in every 2 children in any (public and private) K-12 schools was a Latino in 2015.
• Increasing purchasing power: Hispanics in the U.S. held $1.4 trillion in purchasing power in 2016, up 167% since 2000, and is projected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2021. In California, the Hispanic purchasing power of $359 billion was 19.5% of the state total in 2016.
• Growing wage gap: The wage gap between Latinas and white, non-Hispanic men in California grew by nearly 5% between 2011 and 2015. Latinas earned less than 43 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men, lower than the 45 cents they earned in 2011. Latinas in the San Jose and Los Angeles metropolitan regions fared even worse, earning only 35.5 and 37.5 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by a white man.
• More small business growth: Latina-owned businesses in California posted impressive growth with 433,300 firms in 2016, a 111% increase from 2007.
To view the full report, click here.