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Latino population powerhouse: 2020 Census data reveals huge diversity growth

2020 Census data reveals that Latinos account for over half of the country’s population growth in the past decade. 

Latinos are a powerhouse population that are only growing to new heights. In both business and population, recent data shows that Latinos and Hispanics are an integral and vital force with the power to make great shifts in the U.S. economy and political landscape. 

Photo by Roberto Vivancos from Pexels

Earlier this year, the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network revealed that the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown 34% over the last 10 years compared to just 1% for all other small businesses. Were it not for the growth in the number of Latino-owned firms, the total number of small businesses in the U.S. would actually have declined between 2007 and 2012.

Now, the results of the 2020 Census data reveal similar growth among the U.S. Hispanic population. The overall U.S. population grew by 7.4% over the last decade to reach 331 million. The rate of growth was the slowest since the 1930s. However, just over half of that total growth was due to increases in the U.S. Hispanic population. 

Latinos are a powerhouse population

According to the census data, the Hispanic population reached 62.1 million, or 18.7% of the total population in 2020, compared to 16.4% in 2010 and 12.6% in 2000. In contrast, the U.S. white population alone is shrinking, while people identifying as white in combination with another race has grown by 316 percent. 

Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels

These changes in population revealed by the 2020 Census will have a great impact on the country’s political landscape. The result of the census will be used to draw new voting districts for next year’s midterm elections. With a growing diverse population, we undoubtedly will begin to see changes in the coming elections as diverse communities will be likely to elect diverse leaders. 

In California, the Hispanic population became the largest in the state in 2020. Currently, more than 39% of Californians identify as Hispanic or Latino, compared to the state’s white population which only amounted to 35% according to the 2020 Census data. 

Census data also revealed a drop in the number of Hispanics who identify as white. In 2010, 26.7 million identified as white, while now only 12.6 million identify as such. 

2020 Census, Latino population

Percentage Distribution of the Hispanic of Latino Population: 2010 and 2020. (Graphic source)

In an article with NBC News, Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said, “Today’s data release from the 2020 Census demonstrates that the Latino community is a huge and increasing part of our nation’s future.”

These numbers will help shape the nation in the years to come. Not only will the census data help redraw voting districts, but these numbers will also be used to divide federal funding to community programs, determine divisions for city council and other boards such as school districts. 

Clarissa Martinez de Castro, vice president of UnidosUS, the country’s largest Latino advocacy group, said that the increase in diversity is the source of the nation’s strength. However, she notes that, “Despite our contributions to the country, the realities of our lives aren’t always recognized and worse, in too many cases, we are actively demonized.” 

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The new data is a reminder of the power the Latino and Hispanic population hold. As the largest growing population, Latinos can no longer be ignored. 

Don’t let President Trump keep you from participating in the 2020 Census

The 2020 census is a time for every person residing in the U.S. to be counted and represented. And counting everyone means everyone, regardless of immigration status. Yet President Trump continues to make moves that are hindering the ability for all residents to participate in this constitutionally mandated census. 

How the Trump Administration is trying to deter Latinos from participating

In an article with The New York Times, Janet Murguía–president and CEO of UnidosUS, the country’s largest Latino civil rights organization–urges Latinos to participate in the census. 

“Latinos should not let the president intimidate them into not being counted,” she says.

In the past few months, the Trump administration has made various efforts to affect the census with the intention of excluding minorities who tend to lean Democratic so that federal funds and congressional representation could be redirected to Republican-friendly states. Last month, President Trump ordered the Commerce Department to do what it could to exclude undocumented immigrants and this past Monday it was announced that the 2020 census would end a month early. However, these efforts are in vain. 

“The president doesn’t have the power to overwrite the 14th Amendment, which calls for counting everyone, regardless of their immigration status,” Murguía writes. 

Legally, every resident must be counted. There are few exceptions to this, such as tourists or foregin businesspeople who are not long-term inhabitants of the U.S., but Murguía notes that this does not apply to immigrants who “whether undocumented or otherwise, have put down roots, who own businesses, have become members of their communities and raised families.” 

These efforts by the Trump Administration are simply scare tactics and stunts made to deter minorities from participating in the census, but it is crucial that they do. 

“When the census takes that once every ten years snapshot of our community, Latinas have to make sure that we are part of the photograph that is being taken in that moment,” says Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO of MANA, in the video below.   

Why census data is crucial in building thriving communities

Not participating in the 2020 census will cause real harm and lasting effects to states with large immigrant populations. 

“The fear brought about by the Trump administration’s latest action could result in immigrant-friendly states losing out on federal funds and congressional representation,” writes Murguía. “If immigrants, undocumented or not, or anyone married to an undocumented immigrant, fail to fill out a census form out of fear, they will not be counted and that could mean that children and adults who are U.S. citizens in that household would likely also not be accounted for. And like votes, every person counts.” 

Be A Census Taker (Photo courtesy of 2020census.gov)

Additionally, ending the census a month early will exclude minorities who are more likely to be counted by in-person census workers. Every single person counted helps to bring more funds and representation for their communities. Being counted means having a voice and say in how and where funds are distributed. 

“If just one person is deterred from filling out the census, that’s money that doesn’t go to community schools, hospitals, children’s health programs and the like,” Murguía writes. 

For minority communities, lack of funding can have damaging effects, leading to program cuts that many rely on. Census data is crucial to these communities because it is used to decided where funds will be allocated. These funds are used for programs like Head Start for students, for parks and recreation, and access to health care. 

“We need to make sure there is enough information so that we can build communities where Latino families can thrive,” says Amy Hinojosa. 

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Don’t fall for it: Make your voice heard!

The first step to building those thriving communities is to fill out the 2020 census and be counted. The scare tactics pushed by the Trump Administration hold no legal weight. 

“Just…don’t fall for it,” Murguía urges. “Mr. Trump’s supporters should realize that this will be just another empty promise to be tossed in the pile with others like the one about Mexico paying for the wall, that achieving 6 percent economic growth would be easy, the 2017 tax cuts would pay for themselves, or that the coronavirus would disappear by the summer.” 

Filling out the census form is quick and easy and your data will be protected. There are laws against sharing your data for anything other than its intended purpose, so do not be afraid to have your voice heard.

If you require help or would prefer to fill out the census in Spanish those options are also available to you here.

“Don’t let the president stop you from being counted and contributing to your communities,” Murguía concludes. “He doesn’t want Latinos and immigrants to skip the census because they don’t count, but because they do.” 

Your voice matters. Representation and funds for Latino communities is crucial to building thriving environments. So do your part today by filling out the 2020 census and ensure that your voice is heard.