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Latino’s economic contribution quantified

The report's authors are David Hayes-Bautista with UCLA's Geffen School of Medicine, Dan Hamilton and Matthew Fienup with Cal Lutheran's CERF and Paul Hsu with UCLA.​

Researchers from California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research & Forecasting (CERF) and the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine released the 2020 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report today. The report seeks to provide a factual view of the large and rapidly growing economic contribution of Latinos living in the United States.  

Highlights of the report include:

  • The total economic output (GDP) of Latinos in the United States was $2.6 trillion in 2018, up from $2.3 trillion in 2017, and $1.7 trillion in 2010.
  • If the U.S. Latino GDP was an independent country, it would have been the eighth largest in the world in 2018, larger even than GDPs of Italy, Brazil or South Korea.
  • Among the 10 largest GDPs in 2018, the U.S. Latino GDP was the single fastest growing. Latino real GDP grew 21 percent faster than India’s and 30 percent faster than China’s.
  • From 2010-2018, the Latino GDP is the third fastest growing, while the broader U.S. economy ranks fifth.
  • The single largest driver of rapid Latino GDP growth is personal consumption. From 2010 to 2018, Latino real consumption grew 133 percent faster than non-Latino, driven by large gains in personal income, which naturally flow from Latinos’ rapid gains in educational attainment and strong labor force participation.
  • Over the previous four years, Latino income grew 70 percent faster than Non-Latino.
  • From 2010 to 2018, growth in the number of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 2.6 times more rapid for Latinos than Non-Latinos.
  • Latino labor force participation in 2018 was 67.7 percent, more than five percentage points higher than Non-Latino. And despite being only 18.3 percent of the U.S. population, Latinos are responsible for 78 percent of the growth of the U.S. labor force since the Great Recession.
  • U.S. Latinos provide a very large and positive demographic punch through both the addition of workers and the formation of households. The number of Latino households grew 23.2 percent from 2010-18, compared to just 3.8 percent for Non-Latinos.
  • Early evidence from the coronavirus recession of 2020 indicate that Latinos will be a driver of economic recovery.
  • From April to June, Latino Labor Force Participation soared at a rate more than double the rate of Non-Latinos. Using the Great Recession as a reference point, we expect the gap between Latino and Non-Latino Labor Force Participation to widen, and we expect Latino perseverance and hard work to once again be a source of resiliency for the U.S. economy.

The release of the U.S. Latino GDP Report happened during the opening session of L’Attitude, a four-day Latino Business Conference, which had 6,700 registered participants and generated over 250 million media impressions. During the session, co-authors David Hayes-Bautista and Matthew Fienup were interviewed by Almar Latour, the CEO of the Dow Jones Company and the publisher of the Wall Street Journal. The 2020 LDC U.S. Latino GDP report was generously funded by the Latino Donor Collaborative. The authors are Dan Hamilton and Matthew Fienup of CERF and David Hayes-Bautista and Paul Hsu of the Center for the Study of Latino Health & Culture at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

The Center for Economic Research & Forecasting is housed at California Lutheran University, a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution. For more information about CERF, visit

To view the 2020 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report, click here


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