Latin American economic output would rank 5th in world GDP, according to a new study

If Latin America were an independent country, its gross domestic product would rank fifth in the world, surpassing the United Kingdom, India and France, according to a report released Thursday.

Latino economic output was $2.8 trillion in 2020, up from $2.1 trillion in 2015 and $1.7 trillion in 2010, according to a report by the Latino Donor Collaborative in partnership with Wells Fargo. LDC is a non-profit, non-partisan group dedicated to reshaping perceptions of US Latinos through data and economic research.

In terms of personal consumption, U.S. Latinos represent “a larger consumption market than the entire economy of nations like Canada or South Korea,” the study found, reflecting Hispanics’ gains in personal income through higher labor participation and educational advancement. In 2020, Latino consumption was measured at $1.84 trillion.

“This report proves that our country’s greatest growth opportunity is in our US Latino cohort,” said Sol Trujillo, co-founder and chairman of the board of the Latino Donor Collaboration. “We’re talking not just population growth and workforce growth, but also economic growth in terms of wealth creation, businesses created, homes bought, products bought, movie tickets and sports tickets bought, streaming subscriptions, you name it.”

Latinos, who make up 19% of the US population, are responsible for more than half of US population growth from 2010 to 2020 and more than 65% of population growth from 2019 to 2020. Latinos make up about 25% for America’s youth.

Three-quarters of the Latino population was concentrated in 10 states in 2020: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

According to the report, Latino growth halted population and labor force decline in three states — New Jersey, New York and Illinois — from 2010 to 2018.

That’s important because “growth is what affects tomorrow,” said one of the report’s authors, Dan Hamilton, director of economics at the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University. “What happened yesterday affects today.”

While studies show that the Covid pandemic has taken a toll on Latinos personally and financially, the report found that Latino economic output went from equaling the eighth largest GDP in the world at the start of 2020 to the fifth largest by the end the year.

The report also found that Latino wages and salary income increased more than non-Latinos from 2010 to 2020, although a substantial wage gap remains for Latinos compared to non-Latino whites.

Despite the pandemic, Latino real wage and salary income increased by 6.7% in 2020, while it decreased by 1.1% for non-Latinos.

“What we see — not just in the GDP, but in all the other data we’re looking at — is that Latinos and Latinas prevailed. They came through,” Hamilton said. “Maybe they got sick with Covid sometime in 2020, but two or three weeks later they were back at work.”

Hamilton said that while the data showed a decline in labor participation among the non-Latino population after the Covid pandemic, “for Latinos, it went up,” he said.

As a result, real Latino GDP contracted slightly in 2020, 0.8% compared to 4.4% for non-Latinos.

In terms of home ownership, the number of Latino households increased by 29.2% from 2010 to 2020, compared to 5.8% for non-Latinos. However, Latino home ownership still lags behind non-Hispanic white home ownership.

In education, the number of Latinos with bachelor’s degrees or higher grew 2.8 times faster than non-Latinos from 2010 to 2020.

Although Latinos still lag behind whites in college attainment—22% of Latino adults 25 and older have associate’s degrees or higher, compared to 39% of US adults—the number of Latinos increased by 13% who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2020.

The findings are being released as part of a series of reports on Latinos being discussed at L’Attitude, a conference that examines the state of Latino leadership, participation and representation in corporate America, as well as in the public, media and entertainment sectors. . The conference, which will take place in San Diego from Thursday to Sunday, examines issues related to topics from wealth building to health disparities. Speakers will include former President Barack Obama and CEOs of several companies, including Nike and Accenture.

The report is based on data from 2020, the most recent year for which information is publicly available. It includes data from the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among others.

“US Latinos are leading growth in every category. That’s why every business needs to understand that it’s critical for shareholders, employees and customers to invest in this cohort and drive further growth,” said Trujillo.

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This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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