Introduction to Engaging Latinos

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The Latino community is a large and diverse group that represents a multitude of languages, races/ethnicities, and nationalities. The myriad of cultural factors need to be understood, or at least be made aware of, in order to successfully engage this consumer group.

In this document, the terms “Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably, yet their derivation comes from both self-identification and government terminology. People who are of Spanish descent or come from Spanish-speaking countries self-identify as Latinos and Hispanics. The term “Latino” refers more exclusively to people from communities of Latin American countries.

Below is some general information about the Latino community that might be helpful in designing outreach efforts:

Important Facts:

  • The Latino population surpassed 52 million in 2011, making it the largest ethnic group and racial minority of the U.S. population.1

  • 32 percent of the eligible uninsured population are Latinos.2

  • There are around 10.7 million Hispanic family households in the United States.3

  • 6.7 million Hispanic households are married-couple households.4

  • 6.5 million Hispanic married-couple households have children under the age of 18.5

  • In 2011, 84 percent of Hispanic families had an employed family member.6

  • $37,759 was the median income for Hispanic households in 2010.7

  • The Latino unemployment rate in 2011 was 11.5 percent, the third-highest behind African Americans and Native Americans.8

  • There are an estimated 2.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. that employ nearly 2.1 million workers and generate $407.7 billion in revenues.9

Latino-Intro-Chart

Engaging Latinos:

The facts above showcase both the diversity of the uninsured but also highlights the urgency of outreaching to the Latino uninsured community due to its critical numbers. Nonetheless, when engaging the Latino consumer, you will more than likely be speaking to four key groups within the Latino community. This tool kit was developed around those four primary subsets of the Latino community to fully encompass the group as a whole but also to hone in on particular communities that would require unique modes of engagement. Latinas, young Latinos, and mixed-status families were selected because of the critical mass they hold within the Latino community, their utility in engaging the overall Latino uninsured as connectors, and as the uninsured themselves. When looking at labor, we chose this sector due to the high numbers of uninsured laborers and types of occupations prevalent within the Latino community.

Here are some quick facts about the four key groups:

  • Latinas: Almost 24 million women in the U.S. identify as Latina.11

  • Young Latinos: This is the fastest growing segment of the US population.
    • The median age is 27.7 years.12
    • In 2010, over one-third of the total Latino population was under the age of 18.13

  • Latino Laborers
    : Make up 15 percent of the U.S. workforce and have the highest workforce participation of any ethnic group and the overall civilian labor force.14

  • Member of a “mixed status” home:
    16.6 million Latinos live in mixed-status families with at least one unauthorized immigrant.15

As you read this toolkit you will learn more about these four groups and how to do outreach in the Latino community.

Endnotes

1United States Census Bureau. Population Estimates National Characteristics 2011.
http://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html.

2United States Census Bureau. Hispanics- Health Insurance 2011.
http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/hlthins/data/incpovhlth/2011/highlights.html

3United States Census Bureau. Hispanic Heritage Facts 2011.  http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editio
ns/cb12-ff19.html3

4Ibid.

5Ibid.

6United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor Force Characteristics by Race and
Ethnicity, 2011. http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2011.pdf

7United States Census Bureau. Hispanic Heritage Facts
2011. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editio
ns/cb12-ff19.html

8United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor Force Characteristics by Race and
Ethnicity, 2011. http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrace2011.pdf

9LACLAA. Trabajadoras. March 2012. http://www.lclaa.org/images/pdf/LCLAA_Report.pdf

10Enroll America.org

11U.S. Census Bureau, “The Hispanic Population in the United States: 2010 Detailed
Tables.” Nativity and Citizenship Status by Sex, Hispanic Origin, and Race: 2010.

12US Census Bureau, “Hispanic Heritage Month 2010: Sept. 15 — Oct. 15” July 15, 2010,
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb
10-ff17.html

13US Census Bureau. Hispanic Population Archives 2011.
http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb09-75.html

14US Census Bureau, “Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011”
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2011/tables/11s0585.pdf

15Center for American Progress, “How Today’s Immigration Enforcement Policies Impact Children, Families, and Communities” August 2012

16Ibid.

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