Escuela Tlatelolco was developed in the late 1960's to provide an alternative education for young Latinos. Two students leave the building on May 16, 2016, overlooking a mural.
Cyrus McCrimmon—Denver Post via Getty Images
By Ellen McGirt
December 7, 2016

A new economic study, sponsored by RBC Capital Markets (RBC) and the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), challenges the narrative about Latinx-Americans, from a problem to be solved to an economic solution hiding in plain sight.

The study, Making America Rich Again: The Latino Effect on Economic Growth, shows that the Latinx community is younger, more educated and more entrepreneurial than many might expect, and is driving job creation, income growth and new business formation for the entire country. “We’re using this as a big opportunity to tell the story about the new mainstream economy, built on this phenomenon of massive demographic change,” says Sol Trujillo, co-founder of the Latino Donor Collaborative, a non-partisan group dedicated to changing the perception of Latinos in America.

Trujillo, a former Fortune 500 CEO, adds the big goal of the study is “to gather real data rather than perceptions or opinion.” The study was authored by NERA economist Jeffrey Eisenach.

Although the current rhetoric from the Trump administration about immigration and wall-building isn’t helping perceptions, Trujillo says negative stereotyping has long been a problem. “It’s everywhere – look at entertainment. Either the bad guys are Latinos, or its ‘Maria the nanny’ or ‘Pablo the gardner,’” he says.

Latinos are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country, accounting for 53% of U.S. population growth since 2000.

From the study:

  • As consumers, Latinos wield more than $1.3 trillion in buying power, and the number of affluent Latinx households is growing much faster than for the overall population;
  • Latinos are creating new businesses faster than other Americans. Latinx-owned business grew by 46 percent 2007-2012. Hiring in Latinx-owned businesses increased 22 percent;
  • Latinos were responsible for 29% of real income growth in the United States 2005-2015, with the number of Latinx households with incomes over $150,000 growing 194 percent;
  • The median Latino age is 28 years old, nine years younger than the U.S. population at large.

Trujillo says that employers should be taking notice. “Look ahead to 2020 and beyond,” he says. “The new labor force entrants are going to be Latinos.”

Educated, tech-savvy Latinos are going to be bringing an instant boost of innovation and energy to corporations who understand the business case for diversity. “This is important for states that are looking to shrink unemployment and not having to bribe companies to stay on old technology and old platforms,” he says, referring to President-elect Trump’s recent negotiations with Carrier in Indiana.

The study was shared with representatives from media and corporate America yesterday, as part of an ongoing strategy to keep the conversation about the future of the American Latinx population focused on facts. “We will be working with the new administration and identify the issues we need to work on,” says Trujillo. “But I know from many years as a leader – when we share the same data, we can reduce the amount of dissonance very quickly.”


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