LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Latinos are a huge powerhouse in America, and data shows how much money they have contributed to the U.S. economy.
A A new report from California Lutheran University and UCLA shows that Latinos in the U.S. have driven the overall economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think without the Latino community, California wouldn’t exist,” said California Assembly Speaker Emeritus Anthony Rendon.
In 2021, Latino gross domestic product in the U.S. reached $3.2 trillion, the report said. It is the first time that Latino GDP has exceeded the $3 trillion threshold.
“That says a lot about the purchasing power and economic power of the Latino community,” Rendon said.
The latest figure is up from $2.8 trillion in 2020 and almost doubles the GDP of $1.7 trillion in 2010.
“If we were a separate country… [the U.S. Latino GDP would be] “The fifth largest economy in the world with the second highest growth rate of all the top 10 economies,” explained Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA. “The 62 million Latinos in the “The United States has produced an economy larger than the entire economy of the United Kingdom, larger than the economy of France, larger than Spain, larger than Italy, larger than India.”
Hayes-Bautista said Latinos are spread across a wide range of industries and sectors. The largest sector, accounting for about 15% of Latin America’s GDP, may surprise people.
“The largest sector and the fastest growing sector for Latinos is not agriculture, it is not small business; it’s finance, insurance and real estate,” Hayes-Bautista said.
Rendon expects the upward trend to continue and said without Latinos the workforce would implode.
“We are everywhere,” he said. “We are strong, we are present and our voices are truly heard.”
Next year, UCLA will release a Latina GDP report that will show the impact Latina women have on the U.S. economy. Hayes-Bautista said the report will be “illuminating” and “eye-opening.”