Many politicians speculate about how to revitalize the U.S. economy, but beyond a “trade war” or other bizarre plans, much of the country’s economic future depends on the well-being of the Latino community.
One of the pillars of the local economy is the real estate sector. According to the latest report of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), Latinos are the only demographic group that increased its rate of property ownership for three consecutive years.
In 2017, the Latino property ownership rate stood at 46.2%.
Last year, 7.5 million Latinos owned a home, which is an increase of 167,000 compared to 2016.
While other demographic groups have at times seen their home ownership rates fall in recent years, the proportion of Latino homeowners has been growing steadily. In fact, they represented 46.5% of growth in home ownership since 2000.
And Latinos plan to continue buying houses. The most recent Hispanic Consumer Sentiment Index, which was conducted by the Business and Economics Polling Initiative of Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) College of Business, found that almost 6 out of 10 Latinos (59%) said it was a good time to buy a home, and 62% of them said it was a good time to buy a car.
In sociology there is a common saying among academics: “Demography is destiny.” In other words, population trends and distributions determine a country’s future. If this is true, then Latinos are the future of the United States.
According to the latest Census figures, 58.6 million Latinos currently live in the country. This is the largest minority and one of the nation’s fastest growing demographic groups. Experts project that this growth will continue and that the Latino population will reach 119 million by the year 2060.
Currently about one third (30%) of Latinos are “millennials.”
Latinos play a leading role in economic development. They accounted for 79.7% of workforce growth between 2007 and 2017.
Given the overwhelming mountain of evidence, companies should invest in attracting these consumers. Multiple studies indicate that Latino consumers tend to prefer companies that demonstrate an understanding of their culture.
If demography is destiny, then state governments should provide educational tools that train qualified professionals. Undocumented students should have equal access to universities; this benefits everyone.
Latinos are protagonists of economic development; however, they face serious challenges. According to the FAU survey, in the opinion of most Latinos, the cost of living continues to rise — 59% of them said that the cost of living has increased, while only 23% of Latinos said that the cost of living has decreased.
Instead of wasting time with grandiose ideas, the federal government should invest in Latinos. In particular, they should provide credit access to this community’s small businesses, which are the heart of job creation in the country.