February 23, 2017

Latinos and the New Trump Administration

4. Hispanics and their view of the nation’s direction

As the new Trump administration begins, Latinos are split in their views of the nation’s direction. Half of Latinos say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the nation today while 45% say they are satisfied, according to a new Latino post-election survey conducted by Pew Research Center. These views have changed somewhat since 2012, but are markedly improved since 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, when 70% of Latinos were dissatisfied with the country’s direction.

Compared with the U.S. general public, Latinos express greater satisfaction with the country’s direction today. While 45% of Latinos say they are satisfied with the country’s direction, only 30% of the general public says the same (65% of U.S. adults say they are dissatisfied with the nation’s direction). Since 2008, the U.S. general public’s views on the country’s direction has improved.

The new survey also shows that views of the nation’s direction vary across Hispanic demographic subgroups. Overall, Hispanic men are more satisfied with the way things are going in the country today compared with Hispanic women – 49% compared with 41%. More than half (54%) of Hispanic women are dissatisfied with the way the country is going.

Generationally, Hispanics ages 50 to 64 are more optimistic than other age groups about how things are going in the country today. Half (50%) say they are satisfied with the nation’s direction while 46% say they are dissatisfied. By comparison, the least optimistic are Hispanics ages 65 and older. Just 38% of this group say they are satisfied with the direction of the country today and more than half (55%) say they are dissatisfied. U.S.-born Hispanics are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than foreign-born Hispanics. More than half (55%) of Hispanic immigrants say they are satisfied with the country’s direction, while 40% say they are dissatisfied. By comparison, only 34% of Hispanics born in the U.S. say they are satisfied with the country’s direction, while 61% say they are dissatisfied.

U.S.-born Hispanics are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than foreign-born Hispanics. More than half (55%) of Hispanic immigrants say they are satisfied with the country’s direction, while 40% say they are dissatisfied. By comparison, only 34% of Hispanics born in the U.S. say they are satisfied with the country’s direction, while 61% say they are dissatisfied.

Latinos who are lawful permanent residents are more likely than other groups of Latino immigrants to say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. today. More than two-thirds (68%) of them say they are satisfied while 30% say they are dissatisfied. By comparison, 52% of Latino immigrants who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents say they are satisfied with the nation’s direction, while 43% say they are dissatisfied. Views are more divided among Latino immigrants who are U.S. citizens. About half (49%) say they are satisfied with the country’s direction while 44% say they are not.

Hispanic Republicans and Hispanic Democrats share similar views on the country’s direction. Just 38% of each group say they are satisfied with the nation’s direction and about six-in-ten of each say they are dissatisfied. By contrast, Hispanics who identify as independents are more optimistic, but remain split in their views. Half (50%) say they are satisfied with the country’s direction while 46% say they are not.