Sep 28, 2023 - News

Arizona Latino GDP soars, but high poverty rates remain

Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios
Data: Census Bureau; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

U.S. Latino buying power, economic output and gross income have surged over the past decade, according to the new Latino Donor Collaborative Latino GDP Report.

  • Yes, but: Poverty is keeping the Latino GDP from growing even more, José Jurado, a research economist at ASU's Seidman Institute and co-author of the report, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Latinos make up 19% of the population and are set to be a plurality of the country's population by midcentury. Failure to address systemic economic inequalities may threaten the United States' economic future.

The intrigue: For the first time, the annual report also broke down the Latino economy across all states..

  • Arizona Latino gross domestic income (GDI) totaled $72.6 billion in 2021, representing about 17% of the state's GDI and 26% of Arizona's GDI growth between 2011 and 2021.
  • Arizona's Latino GDP is the seventh largest, behind California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and New Jersey.

The big picture: The total economic output of U.S. Latinos reached $3.2 trillion in 2021 — more than the total GDP of every nation but the U.S., China, Japan and Germany.

Between the lines: In many regions — including ours — new jobs are more likely to be filled by a Latino than not, according to the report.

  • Of 520,000 new Arizona jobs created between 2011 and 2021, Latinos filled 310,000, or 60%.

Meanwhile, The percentage of U.S. Latinos living in poverty has dropped significantly in the last decade, but remains well above the national average.

  • In Arizona, about 16% of Latinos lived below the poverty line in 2022 compared with about 13% of all residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

What they're saying:: Better access to credit and to quality education would help reduce Latino poverty — one of the most pressing issues facing Hispanics in the U.S., Jurado says.

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