The Chicago area’s Latino population is becoming an increasingly vital contributor to the local economy, disputing a perception that Latinos tend to take more than they contribute to society, a new report claims.
And with the Latino population expected to provide 25 percent of the Chicago metropolitan area’s total workforce by 2015, the city’s future prosperity may well hinge on whether Latinos thrive, according to the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies report titled “The State of Latino Chicago 2010: The New Equation.”
“In economically trying times, with many looking for a scapegoat for our region’s fiscal woes, the Institute for Latino Studies once and for all refutes the notion that Latinos are socio-economic drains,” said Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Chicago-based Latino Policy Forum. “Investing in Latinos offers a sound return on investment, helping shape our strong, shared future as a region.”
The report — based on the most recently available U.S. Census data as well as local, state and federal reports for the city, Cook and the collar counties — is set to be released Wednesday.
Against a backdrop of a country divided and confused over immigration policy, the report’s authors set out to find out just how much Latinos contribute to the local economy — and take from local government coffers.
“I was suspecting that Latinos were actually costing more than what they were contributing, and they were not,” said the report’s lead author, Prof. Juan Carlos Guzman. READ MORE