NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

American Dream Alive And Well For Latinos

December 19, 2002

A third of Latino families in the United States have been rocked by the economic downturn. Nearly half of Latinos are Spanish-dominant, and three out of four believe their children will achieve financial success here, according to a wide-ranging survey released Tuesday.

Conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation, the survey looks deeply at a group that represents about 13 percent of the U.S. population and is expected to make up a quarter of the population by 2050. Half of that population is concentrated in Texas and California.

The survey found the American Dream and its rags-to-riches mythology remains firmly intact for Latinos. Other findings include:

  • Nearly 90 percent of Latinos surveyed believe they will find the opportunities to get ahead in the United States, and at least 76 percent believe their children will become better educated, hold better jobs and make more money.
  • Thirty-six percent say moral values are better in their homeland; 31 percent say it is the same in both; and 28 percent say moral values are better in the United States.
  • Nearly a third are not confident that their children will stay as close to their families as the respondents did.
  • The survey bears out the belief that Hispanics are underbanked, but among Hispanic households earning $50,000 or more, Hispanics are almost as likely to have a credit card or a bank account as an Anglo household, the study found.

The study also found that 40 percent of Latinos own a home, compared to rates of 41 percent for blacks and 70 percent for Anglos.

Source: Diane Solís, "For Many Latinos, U.S. Stands for Hope: Survey Details Language, Education, Finances of Growing Population," The Dallas Morning News, December 18, 2002.


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