A Mexican Restaurant in Iowa
A man walks past the American Legion and the Acapulco Mexican Bakery in Iowa's first Hispanic-majority city of West Liberty AFP

The Gross Domestic Product generated by Latinos in the United States grew by $400 billion, reaching now $3.2 trillion, said the Latino Donor Collaborative in the 2023 edition of a report that showcases this group's contribution to the American economy.

According to the LDC, the new Latino GDP Report shows that if the 64-million strong community were a country it would be the fifth largest economy in the world.

LDC releases their report yearly at the L'Attitude conference, but President & CEO of the LDC, Ana Valdez, says they do more than just the conference and compile data year-round because people don't really notice what Latinos are doing in the U.S.

Latinos are driving the growth

-Ana Valdez, President, CEO of LDC

"We gathered together to show the real economic impact Latinos are having in this country because it's been a big incognito thing, right? People don't know really what Latinos are doing, and unfortunately, the myth and perception are negative," Valdez said in an interview. "The truth is that Latinos are driving the growth."

Valdez said the mission of the LDC is to create a fact-based narrative to show who Latinos are. She said the results combat stereotypes, show how Latinos can grow with the community, how to grow the community so Latinos can grow, and overall, she said it created a fair representation of who Latinos are by creating wealth and growth for the U.S.

A conclusion in the Latino GDP first report in 2017 was that Latinos were contributing $1.7 trillion to the GDP of the U.S., and the latest data in 2021 showed that Latinos contributed $3.2 trillion, growing 60%.

"Forget about Latin America. If U.S. Latinos were an economy by themselves, they would be the fifth largest economy in the world. Only the U.S. –which encompasses Latinos, China, Germany, and Japan would be bigger. If Latinos were an economy, they would be bigger than England, Russia, Canada, Brazil and any other country except those four countries."

A screen shot from the U.S. Latino GDP report Latino Donor Collaboritve

Valdez said many people say Latinos in the U.S. use up all the U.S. resources, and Latinos come to the U.S. and are just a burden to the country, but she said that's further than the truth. The Latino community grows two times faster than any other community and drives workforce growth. Valdez said. Apart from that, Valdez said Latinos bring many ideas and trends to the table.

Benefiting businesses

For the last six years, Valdez said LDC has acted as a free consultant for many CEOs, coming to them and showing them that Latinos make up 25% of their audience and 20% of the U.S. and telling them they're missing out on the Latino as a market opportunity.

"Even though we're a nonprofit, (ours) are really business numbers, and they're used by most CEOs, political candidates and anybody who needs to make decisions," Valdez said. There's a scarcity of employees in many different professions, but 82% of new growth of the U.S. workforce is coming from Latinos, and Latinos come and fill those gaps in many different professions. They become engineers, doctors, and even farm workers, so when people realize Latinos largely contribute to the workforce, they know it's crucial to plan how to hire people and do their advertising.

At the L'Attitude conference, held by one of the U.S. top venture capital firms dedicated to funding Hispanic startups, many large companies look at LDC's data, such as Wells Fargo, J.P Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi, Coke and McDonald's, to name a few, Valdez said.

"We do have the workforce here, and we just have to train it and give it the dignity it deserves, and that's our business slash social point, that this is an investment for Americans, this is not a philanthropic effort. This is an investment they need more than we need," Valdez said. "Latinos are prospering anyway. In the shadows, maybe not in the places we would like access, but we're founding businesses, working three jobs and we're still prospering.'

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