U.S. Latino GDP now 5th largest in world

Latino incomes surged due to work effort during pandemic

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The authors of the U.S. Latino GDP Report are, from left to right, Paul Hsu, Dan Hamilton, David Hayes-Bautista and Matthew Fienup.

Photo: Courtesy photo

(SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Sept. 29, 2022) Researchers from California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting and the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine released the 2022 U.S. Latino GDP Report.

Highlights include the following:

  • The total economic output, or gross domestic product, of Latinos in the U.S. was $2.8 trillion in 2020, up from $2.1 trillion in 2015 and $1.7 trillion in 2010.
  • If Latinos living in the United States were an independent country, the U.S. Latino GDP would be the fifth largest GDP in the world, larger even than the GDPs of the United Kingdom, India or France.
  • Among the world’s 10 largest GDPs, the U.S. Latino GDP is the third fastest-growing from 2010-20, while the broader U.S. economy ranked fifth. From 2010-20, the growth of U.S. Latino GDP was 2.6 times that of non-Latino GDP.
  • According to the dominant narrative, Latinos should have been knocked down by the COVID-19 pandemic. Examining the impact through the lens of the U.S. Latino GDP tells a very different story. In 2020, in the face of the pandemic, the strength of U.S. Latinos was sufficient for the U.S. Latino GDP to jump three spots, beginning as the eighth largest GDP and finishing 2020 as the fifth largest.
  • From 2010-20, Latino real wage and salary income grew an average of 4.3% per year, compared with 2.1% for non-Latinos. 2020 was exceptional. Despite the extraordinary challenges of the pandemic, Latino income surged 6.7%. Meanwhile, non-Latino income declined by 1.1%.
  • Latino incomes surged due to Latinos’ tremendous work effort during the pandemic. In 2019, prior to COVID, Latino labor force participation (LFP) was a record 6.1 percentage points higher than non-Latino. In 2020, the Latino LFP premium hit a new all-time high, when U.S. Latinos were 6.5 percentage points more likely to be working than non-Latinos.
  • Latinos are not only drivers of economic growth; they are a critical source of strength and resilience for the U.S. economy.

Additional Results:

  • From 2010-20, the number of Latinos with a bachelor’s degree or higher grew 2.8 times more rapidly than for non-Latinos.
  • Latino population growth is 5 times that of non-Latinos from 2010-20.
  • Latino labor force growth was 7.5 times that of non-Latinos from 2010 to 2019. In 2020, the non-Latino component of the U.S. labor force contracted by over 2 million workers, while Latinos added more than 100,000 workers.
  • Despite being only 18.7% of the U.S. population, Latinos are responsible for 73% of the growth of the U.S. labor force from 2010 to 2020.

The release of the U.S. Latino GDP Report kicked off L’Attitude, a four-day Latino business conference in San Diego. This is the fifth annual U.S. Latino GDP Report. The authors are Dan Hamilton and Matthew Fienup of Cal Lutheran’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, and David Hayes-Bautista and Paul Hsu of UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine.

To download the full report, click here.