California Latino Economic Institute
First published July 2019
As the largest racial or ethnic group in California, the economic well-being of Latinos will play a critical role in the long-term economic success of the state.1 Latinos continue to experience much lower economic well-being in the state than California’s population as a whole. In order to thrive, the Latino community needs carefully allocated resources and investments designed to build economic well-being, including a strong Latino middle class. To develop effective economic policies, it is important to first understand the barriers and opportunities that Latinos currently face. California’s leaders and policymakers require comprehensive information about the needs and opportunities facing Latinos across the state to help ensure that strategic decisions regarding business, investment, urban planning, education, and other critical areas take into account the varying conditions faced by Latino communities.
In this report, we provide an up-to-date overview of the current economic conditions for Latinos, focused on the four key relating factors of income distribution, education, housing, and entrepreneurship. The report establishes a baseline of data that can be used to measure Latino economic progress over time. We also introduce the Latino Economic Index (LEI) that provides a visual data snapshot of Latino economic well-being at the regional and community level in California. With this index, we explore geographic hot spots of opportunity and identify areas that call for the most urgent investment and policy outcomes.