By: Jose Aguilar
Director, Fuerza Migrante Foundation
According to the U.S. Census, the Hispanic population represents about 62 million people, and growing at an astounding 23% vs 4% of the overall population.(1) At this rate, Hispanics will represent 29% of the population by 2050, or about 128 million people(2).
Similarly, the Latino-owned businesses continue to outpace the growth rates of White-owned businesses (WOBs)–and U.S. businesses in general–in terms of number of businesses and revenue. At the national level, from 2007 to 2019, the number of LOBs grew by 34% while the number of WOBs dropped by 7% (3). This growth has a significant in the economy, the total economic output of Hispanic Americans is estimated to be well over $2 trillion (4).
This growth is also reflected in increased levels of high school and college degrees among the Hispanic population. In 2014, 35% of Hispanics ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in a two- or four-year college, up from 22% in 1993 (5). Furthermore, Hispanic enrollment at postsecondary institutions in the United States has seen an exponential increase over the last few decades, rising from 1.5 million in 2000 to a new high of 3.8 million in 2019. However, relatively small shares of young Hispanics are enrolled in college or have obtained a bachelor’s degree. In 2021, about three-in-ten Latinos ages 18 to 24 (32%) were enrolled at least part time in college, a similar share to Black Americans (33%) and a lower share than among White (37%) and Asian (58%) (6). Even though more Hispanics are getting a postsecondary education than ever before, Hispanics still lag other groups in obtaining a four-year degree. As of 2014, among Hispanics ages 25 to 29, just 15% of Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree or higher. By comparison, among the same age group, about 41% of whites have a bachelor’s degree or higher (as do 22% of blacks and 63% of Asians) (5).
In 2021, about a quarter of Latinos ages 25 to 29 (23%) had earned a bachelor’s degree, up from 14% in 2010. However, this is far lower than White Americans (45%) or Asians (72%) ages 25 to 29 (6). Consequently, about eight-in-ten Hispanics (79%) do not have a bachelor’s degree, vs 62% of U.S. adults ages 25 and older (6).
Financial considerations are a key reason why Americans overall do not complete a four-year degree, and this is particularly true for Hispanics.(6) Additionally, lack of guidance and role models also prevent young Hispanics from reaching their true potential.
In order to help overcome these numbers and contribute to increase education levels of the Hispanic population, Fuerza Migrante Foundation has made education the cornerstone of all its programs and efforts, and as a result formed the Universidad Fuerza Migrante. As Jaime Lucero, its Founder, points out: Education is and will always be the cornerstone of Fuerza Migrante. All our work must go through the Universidad Fuerza Migrante to really accomplish that empowerment that all of us promote and desire.
To that effect, Fuerza Migrante Foundation has started a national movement to develop academic agreements with major institutions across the USA to offer a wide array of educational courses, from elementary to high school, from to trade skills training to continuous education, from college to post-education degrees. The first of such agreements was just recently signed with Rutgers University-Newark. Other important agreements are with the Arkansas State University, UNAM Chicago and UNAM Los Angeles.
With the help of all these institutions, we will help elevate the education levels of our community!
1. Improved Race, Ethnicity Measures Show U.S. is More Multiracial (census.gov)
2. U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050 | Pew Research Center
3. All facts in this paragraph taken from The Stanford Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network (online), 2022 Research Report: State of Latino Entrepreneurship, available at: https://stanford.io/3oGhtmq, accessed: June 1, 2023, published: February 2023.
4. Fast Facts about the Economic Status of Hispanic Americans - Fast Facts about the Economic Status of Hispanic Americans - United States Joint Economic Committee (senate.gov)
5. 5 facts about Latinos and education | Pew Research Center
6. Hispanic enrollment at U.S. 4-year colleges reaches new high, but cost still an obstacle | Pew Research Center