The Economic Benefits of Immigration: How the Migrant Hispanic Population’s Demographic Characteristics Contribute to US Growth

Author: 
Gonzalo Huertas & Jacob Funk Kirkegaard
Date of Publication: 
February, 2019
Source Organization: 
Other

The US economy is growing—and the Hispanic community has been contributing significantly to this growth in recent years. According to this report, this trend is expected to continue throughout the next 10 to 20 years. The authors note that because Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group, their “demographic vitality” will see their share of the U.S. workforce grow beyond its current 16 percent. The paper stresses that perceptions of the Hispanic labor force as mainly low-skilled are inaccurate due to recent demographic changes. Using data from the 2017 Census Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Congressional Budget Office, the authors show that Hispanic educational attainment has increased dramatically since the 1990s, with Hispanics graduating high school at about the same rate as the national average (approximately 89 percent in 2016). Moreover, rates of earning post-secondary degrees are also rising, with Hispanics now equaling the non-Hispanic population in the number of associate degrees earned, but still lagging with college degrees. Members of the Hispanic community are also showing higher levels of entrepreneurship than the general population. The authors close by recommending that policies should be adopted to encourage these trends within the Hispanic community in order to promote future economic growth. They also suggest that growing Hispanic “convergence” with the broader U.S. population, combined with high Hispanic intermarriage rates and with many partly-Hispanic people claiming “more than one” racial or ethnic category on the U.S. census, may make studies of this type “less methodologically valid” in the future. (Deb D'Anastasio for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)

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Citation: 

Huertas, G. & Kirkegaard, J. F. (2019). The Economic Benefits of Immigration: How the Migrant Hispanic Population’s Demographic Characteristics Contribute to US Growth. Peterson Institute for International Economics. Retrieved from https://piie.com/system/files/documents/wp19-3.pdf

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