FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2023
UCLA report paints complex picture of inequality among growing Afro-Latinx population in U.S.
The Afro-Latinx population in the U.S. has grown at nearly twice the rate of non-Black Latinos since the beginning of the century, and new UCLA research reveals complex social inequalities faced by Afro-Latinxs – people who are both ethnically Latino and racially Black. Despite having higher educational attainment than non-Black Latinxs, Afro-Latinxs face worse outcomes in key areas including income and homeownership.
The findings are based on a new report by the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute that looked at how the distinct yet simultaneous systems of oppression and resistance of race, ethnicity and gender lead to disparities in education, income, poverty and homeownership for Black Latinxs in the U.S. With Afro-Latinx populations growing 121% from 2000 to 2019 — a growth rate nearly twice that of non-Black Latinxs – the study reveals inequalities that remain hidden when Latinxs are not disaggregated by race.
“Despite their high growth rates and unique position in American society, few studies have used Census Bureau data to quantify and center the lived experiences of Afro-Latinxs,” said Misael Galdámez, one of the report’s authors. “The need to understand how Afro-Latinx experiences differ from non-Black Latinx experiences will only grow as Afro-Latinxs enter voting age and shape policy outcomes.”
The report underscores the many challenges that Afro-Latinxs face in comparison to other groups. While Afro-Latinxs have lower homeownership rates compared to other groups, 40.6% for Afro-Latinxs versus 54% for non-Black Latinxs, those who do own have higher home values than non-Black Latinxs and the U.S. population overall – $210,000 versus $200,000. Researchers found that Afro-Latinxs have higher poverty rates: In 2019, Afro-Latinxs experienced a poverty rate of 23%, three percentage points higher than the poverty rate of non-Black Latinxs and the overall U.S. population.
The report shows that Afro-Latinxs education rates exceed their non-Black Latinx counterparts: 26% of Afro-Latinas completed a college degree, compared with 18% of non-Black Latinas; 20% of Afro-Latinos completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 15% of non-Black Latino men.
“Latinxs are not a monolith. Yet too often, data ignores race and assumes all Latinxs are racialized the same way,” said Nancy López, professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Study of “Race” & Social Justice at the University of New Mexico and one of the report’s authors. “Our work is part of a movement toward visibility for the Afro-Latinx experience through data that is premised on intersectional inquiry and praxis, not just disaggregated ethnicity data, and captures our unique experiences with oppression and resistance. This will help us understand the complexity and diversity of issues facing Latinxs today and cultivate implicit solidarity within and across our communities to address existing inequities.”
This report comes out as UCLA LPPI prepares to launch the U.S. Latino Data Hub later this year. This first-of-its-kind online resource will provide the public, community-based organizations, media outlets and policymakers with the ability to generate robust intersectional inquiry and advocacy that acknowledges that disaggregated data by ethnicity alone is not enough for creating policy solutions for those at the margins of Latinidad in the U.S.
“We need reliable, actionable data to make sure no one is overlooked in policy conversations,” said Rodrigo Dominguez-Villegas, research director of the UCLA Latino Policy & Politics Institute and director of the U.S. Latino Data Hub. “Our findings and the forthcoming Latino Data Hub aim to help contextualize the lives and lived experiences of Afro-Latinxs and other populations so that we are better able to advocate for meaningful policy change that will improve the lives of all Latinxs.”
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The UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute addresses the most critical domestic policy challenges facing Latinos and other communities of color through research, advocacy, mobilization, and leadership development to expand genuine opportunity for all Americans.