If American Latinos were an independent country, their economic output would rank fifth in the world.

The value of goods and services produced in a year by Latinos would far exceed those of the United Kingdom, India and France, according to the Latino Donor Collaborative, a nonprofit research group that has partnered with the banking giant Wells Fargo to measure the economic impact of Latinos in the United States

The collaboration’s mission is to reshape the perception of Latinos in American society and confront stereotypes with data about the actual role they play in the nation’s demographics, politics and commerce.

The contributions of Latinos to the country’s population, workforce and economy demonstrate the group’s impact on the overall success of the US economy, according to their report.

“American Latinos continue to be our country’s true growth cohort,” said Sol Trujillo, co-founder of Latino Donor Collaborative.

The total economic output of Latinos in the United States was nearly $2.8 trillion in 2020, or more than 13% of the country’s GDP. Latino GDP was highest in finance and real estate, which accounted for $460 billion of the total.

In Texas, Latinos produced goods and services totaling $476 billion in 2018, according to the report, mostly in education and health care, construction and professional services.

As a group, however, the most important data point in the report is what Latinos spend each year. In 2020, personal consumption accounted for nearly $14.1 trillion of the nation’s GDP, and Latino Americans accounted for $1.84 trillion of that total.

Latinos spend more than the economies of Canada or South Korea. Or in national terms, Latino consumption rivals the entire economies of New York or Texas.

In 2018, consumption by Texas Latinos was over $309.7 billion, a figure that illustrates the group’s rapid spending growth.

Edward Rincón, president of Rincón & Associates, a multicultural marketing research group in Dallas, said data regarding the economic importance of Latinos can educate the public against derogatory misconceptions.

“It contrasts starkly with all the political showmanship that diminishes Latinos … who have always been very supportive of this country,” Rincón said.

The report also notes that Texas experienced the largest change in population growth among Latinos of any state from 2015 to 2020, adding more than one million people.

In Dallas County, Latinos make up more than 40% of the population, or nearly 1.1 million people, according to 2020 census data.

Despite making up less than a fifth of the nation’s population, Latinos have been responsible for nearly three-quarters of the growth in the US labor force since 2010, according to the research.

More than 600,000 Latinos entered the workforce on average each year from 2010 to 2020. During the same period, non-Latinos provided an average of 225,000 laborers each year.

Throughout the pandemic, Latinos have faced higher rates of infections and deaths, with COVID-19 becoming the leading cause of death in the group in 2020. As of February 2020, nearly half of adults Latin Americans held jobs that required them to work outside the home, according to a Pew Research Center survey.

While non-Latinos have felt a drop in income, Latino wages have increased by nearly 7%.

“Latinos are the engine of the economy in the United States, especially during times like the pandemic,” Rincón said. “Their resilience, their income growth, it’s not just population growth. These people have stayed in their jobs longer and they’ve been able to support the economy and sustain themselves and their families.”

The progress made by Latinos is the result of higher rates of higher education, income growth and home ownership, according to the report.

“The increased growth and strength of Latino human capital has resulted in a powerful economic engine for our country,” Trujillo said.

© 2022 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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