If American Latinos were an independent country, their gross domestic product would rank fifth in the world, surpassing Britain, India and France, according to a report released Thursday.
Latino economic output in 2020 was $2.8 trillion, up from $2.1 trillion in 2015 and $1.7 trillion in 2010, according to a report by the Latino Donor Collaborative in partnership with Wells Fargo. LDC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group focused on reshaping perceptions of U.S. Latinos through data and economic research.
In terms of personal consumption, U.S. Latinos represent “a consumer market larger in size than the entire economy of nations such as Canada or South Korea,” the study found, reflecting Hispanics’ gains in personal income through higher labor force participation and educational attainment. In 2020, Latino spending was measured at $1.84 trillion.
“This report proves that our country’s greatest growth opportunity lies in our American Latino cohort,” said Sol Trujillo, a co-founder and chairman of the Latino Donor Collaborative. “We’re not just talking about population growth and workforce growth, but also economic growth in terms of value creation, established businesses, homes purchased, products purchased, movie tickets and sports tickets purchased, streaming subscriptions, everything.”
Latinos, who make up 19% of the US population, are responsible for more than half of US population growth from 2010 to 2020 and more than 65% of population growth from 2019 to 2020. Latinos make up approximately 25% of US youth.
Three-quarters of the Latino population was concentrated in just 10 states in 2020: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Texas.
According to the report, Latino growth staved off population and labor force declines in three states — New Jersey, New York and Illinois — from 2010 to 2018.
That’s important because “growth is what affects tomorrow,” said one of the report’s authors, Dan Hamilton, director of economics at the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University. “What happened yesterday affects today.”
Although studies show that the Covid pandemic took a toll on Latinos personally and financially, the report found that Latino economic output went from equaling the world’s eighth largest GDP at the start of 2020 to the fifth largest as the year ended.
The report also found that Latino wages and salary income grew more than non-Latinos from 2010 to 2020, although there remains a significant wage gap for Latinos compared to non-Latino whites.
Despite the pandemic, Latino real wages grew 6.7% in 2020, while they shrank 1.1% for non-Latinos.
“What we’re seeing — not just in GDP, but in every other data we’re looking at — is that Latinos and Latinos prevailed. They came through,” Hamilton said. “They may have gotten sick from Covid once in 2020, but two or three weeks later they were back at work.”
Hamilton said that while the data showed a decline in the labor force participation rate among the non-Latino population after the Covid pandemic, “for Latinos, it went up,” he said.
As a result, Latino real GDP declined a small amount in 2020, by 0.8% compared to 4.4% for non-Latinos.
In terms of homeownership, Latino households grew 29.2% from 2010 to 2020, compared to 5.8% for non-Latinos. However, Latino homeownership still lags behind non-Hispanic white homeownership.
In education, the number of people with bachelor’s degrees or higher grew 2.8 times faster for Latinos than for non-Latinos from 2010 to 2020.
While Latinos still lag behind whites in college attainment—22% of Latino adults 25 and older have associate degrees or higher, compared to 39% of all U.S. adults—the number of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree or higher increased by 13% in 2020.
The findings are being released as part of a series of reports on Latinos being discussed at L’Attitude, a conference examining the state of Latino leadership, participation and representation in corporate America, as well as in the public, media and entertainment sectors. . The conference, which takes place in San Diego from Thursday to Sunday, examines issues around topics from wealth building to health disparities. Speakers include former President Barack Obama and CEOs of several companies, including Nike and Accenture.
The report is based on data from 2020, the last year information is publicly available for. It includes data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics, among others.
“American Latinos are leading the growth in all categories. This is why every business must understand that investing in this group and catalyzing more growth is critical for shareholders, employees and customers, Trujillo said.
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This article was originally published on NBCNews.com