Latinos in Houston Metro Area has been rapidly increasing in
Latinos in Houston Metro Area, Texas, has been rapidly increasing in the last decade. Wikimedia Commons

Latinos in the Greater Houston area have significantly contributed to the region's economic growth in recent years, according to a study released this week.

Researchers from California Lutheran University and UCLA's Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture emphasized that Latinos accounted for 68.3% of the metropolitan area's gross domestic product growth despite comprising approximately 40% of the population.

According to the study, the share of Latinos in the Texas area has been rapidly increasing over the past decade. From 2010 to 2021 Latinos in the Houston metro's labor force grew by 39%, non-Latinos grew only by 14% in that same period of time.

In other words, the study outlined that the Latino component of the labor force grew at a rate 2.8 times higher than that of Non-Latinos.

The Houston Metro Area, encompassing the city of Houston along with the surrounding suburban areas of The Woodlands and Sugar Land in Texas, spans nine counties along the Gulf Coast.

With a population of 7.2 million people in 2021, it ranks as the fifth largest MSA in the nation, slightly larger than both the Washington D.C. and Miami Metro Areas. Additionally, it is the fourth-largest MSA by Latino population, with 38.5 percent of the area's population being of Hispanic descent or immigrant origin.

The 2021 Houston Metro Area Latino GDP is $139.5 billion, nearly as large as the entire economy of states like Arkansas or Nebraska, with personal consumption as the largest component of the Houston Metro Area's Latino GDP.

It totaled $92.6 billion (in 2021), representing a consumption market larger in size than the entire economy of the state of West Virginia, according to the document.

Largest and fastest growing states by Latino Population.
Largest and fastest growing states by Latino Population. Metro Latino GDP Report

The Houston Metro Area's top five sectors by 2021 Latino GDP are:

  • Professional & Business Services ($17.2 billion)
  • Construction ($16.9 billion)
  • Wholesale Trade ($15.6 billion)
  • Finance & Real Estate ($15.2 billion)
  • Non-Durables Manufacturing ($13.7 billion).

Researchers attributed the recent economic boost in Greater Houston to its youthful Latino population, with approximately one-third under 18 and 43% aged between 18 and 44, according to the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs.

The composition of the Houston Metro Area Latino labor force was also different from the rest on other factors, such as Hispanics tend to choose work in the private sector compared to the government sector, the study says.

The growth in the Latino population and their increasing presence in the workforce has led to an impressive rise in homeownership in the area, according to the study. The number of Latino homeowners in the Houston Metro Area increased by over 46.3%, while the number of non-Latino homeowners increased by only 11.9 percent.

"Seeing the dramatic economic impact of Latinos living in the Houston Metro Area and the state of Texas more broadly, one might be misled to think that this extraordinary impact must be concentrated within a narrow geographic region. In fact, the Houston Metro Area and the state of Texas are merely examples of a nationwide phenomenon," the study says.

Across the country, the Latino population's total economic output in 2021 was $3.2 trillion. The Latino GDP grew by 7.1% that year, about 2% more than that of non-Latinos.

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