Bread for the World created a wonderful series of reports in 2012 under the umbrella name Development Works. I posted a link to the first paper last week. The third paper, which is linked at the top of this post, is called Hunger and Poverty Among Latino Immigrant Children. In it, the organization notes, “The size and youthfulness of this community give it great potential to make significant contributions to the economic and social future of our country. But we need to find solutions to the problems threatening the well-being of Latino children, including barriers to accessing safety-net programs that could improve their nutrition and health and help compensate for some of the remaining difficulties. ”
I recommend the entire paper to you, but here is a snapshot of some key points:
In 2000, Latinos became the largest ethnic minority in the United States. Today, 16.3 percent of the U.S. population is Latino—more than 50 million people. The growing Latino presence is increasingly evident in schools, communities, and workplaces. Moreover, more than half of the U.S. population growth since 2000 has been among Latinos, due partly to immigration and partly to a higher birthrate. Thus, a higher percentage of U.S. children than of the total U.S. population is Latino: 22 percent. This percentage is xpected to increase because the Latino population is younger than the U.S. average.
Children who are U.S. citizens but have at least one parent who is an immigrant are now the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. In the United States, children are more likely than adults to live in families that struggle to put food on the table—nearly one in every four children in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Latino children are even more likely to be at risk of hunger. In 2009, the last full year for which we have data, nearly 35 percent lived in such families.
Poverty rates increased for all U.S. racial and ethnic groups during the recession, but people of color experience more poverty. The latest available data, from 2009, show that more than one in four Latinos lived below the poverty line.
While the children of Latino immigrants face significant obstacles, some safety-net programs and other resources are available to help maintain their health and well-being.
- A look at economic inequality, through a Latino lens (nbclatino.com)
- Sequestration Takes Bite Out of Hispanic Community (hispanicbusiness.com)