As it continues to grow, the composition of the Hispanic population is undergoing a fundamental change: Births in the United States are outpacing immigration as the key source of growth. Over the next twenty years this will produce an important shift in the makeup of the Hispanic population with second-generation Latinos–the U.S.-born children of immigrants– emerging as the largest component of that population. Given the very substantial differences in earnings, education, fluency in English, and attitudes between foreign-born and native-born Latinos, this shift has profound implications for many realms of public policy, and indeed for anyone seeking to understand the nature of demographic change in the United States.
Latinos in the U.S. labor force were slow to recover from the effects of the 2001 recession, lagging non-Hispanic whites in restoring employment growth and the unemployment rate to their pre-recession levels. Immigrants and young Latinos encountered particularly hard times but college-educated Hispanics experienced substantial improvements in employment levels. These are among the key findings of this report on the labor market experience of Latino workers since the economic slowdown began at the end of 2000.
The California electorate is sharply split along racial and ethnic lines with Latino, African American, Asian American and white voters expressing distinctly different views of the recall, of Gov. Gray Davis’ performance in office, of the candidates seeking to replace him and of the racial classification initiative (Proposition 54).
High school dropout rates are a key performance measure for the American education system. This report shows that the standard method for calculating the dropout rate leads to a distorted picture of the status of Hispanic students in U.S. schools.
The Hispanic population is divided over the war with Iraq. Latinos born in the United States express strong support as well as optimism over its course thus far while the foreign born voice more cautious views and greater concern over the potential for terrorist attacks and economic losses, according to a Pew Hispanic Center poll of Latino adults taken April 3 to 6, 2003. This survey shows that support for the war is considerably higher among all Latinos as U.S. troops take the fight to Baghdad than in a similar survey taken in mid-February when the prospect of war was being debated at the United Nations.
Latino enlisted personnel are underrepresented when compared to the size of the civilian labor force of the appropriate age. They are on par when compared to civilian labor force of the appropriate age that possess the necessary educational credentials. And, they are overrepresented when compared to the civilian labor force of the appropriate age that posses both the necessary educational credentials and immigration status.
Support for U.S. military action against Iraq is weaker in the Hispanic population, particularly among the foreign born, than in the American population overall, according to a Pew Hispanic Center poll of Latino adults taken February 13 to 16, 2003. Several recent polls by news organizations show that 60 to 70 percent of the general public supports military action. In this survey 48 percent of Latinos said they support invading Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power and 43 percent are opposed. Among native-born Latinos support for a possible war is 52 percent, and among foreign-born Latinos support is 46 percent in the Pew Hispanic Center poll. Overall Latino views mirror those of the general public on whether Iraq poses an immediate threat to the United States although somewhat fewer Latinos see a long-term threat from Iraq compared to the findings of general population polls.
The Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation 2002 National Survey of Latinos comprehensively explores the attitudes and experiences of Hispanics on a wide variety of topics. This survey was designed to capture the diversity of the Latino population by including almost 3,000 Hispanics from various backgrounds and groups so that in addition to describing Latinos overall, comparisons can be made among key Hispanic subgroups as well.
It is a commonplace claim that the education level of the Latino immigrant population is continually falling behind that of the U.S.-born population. However, the Pew Hispanic Center finds that the educational profile of the adult population of foreign-born Latinos has improved significantly during the past three decades. These gains, however, have not yet produced a notable convergence with the level of education in the native-born U.S. population. During the period 1970 to 2000 the native-born population also experienced improvements of education that outpaced the progress among Latino immigrants. Nonetheless, the trends identified in this report suggest that the gap between immigrants and natives will narrow in the future.
Central banks across the region are tracking remittance income more carefully which has somewhat boosted the numbers they report. Nonetheless, there seems little doubt that the remittance flow has continued to increase over the past two years even as the U.S. economy dropped from its boom time peaks. In 2000 remittances to Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua–nations that receive almost all their money transfers from the United States–totaled some $10.2 billion. This year that figure could reach $14.2 billion or more, a flow of $39 million a day. By 2005 the sum, which does not capture all remittances to Latin America, will go beyond $18 billion, according to projections by the Pew Hispanic Center.