Nevada's Latino population continues to grow, and the Silver State will soon join the list of "minority-majority" states where the majority of the population is a member of a minority racial or ethnic group.
NCLR (National Council of La Raza) and the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce held a roundtable discussion on Tuesday with community and business leaders centered on Nevada's Latinos and their economic outlook; NCLR issued a report on the topic that was released Tuesday.
The roundtable's panel examined how Hispanic workers, investors, entrepreneurs and consumers are helping to shape Nevada's economy and how they are faring during the economic recovery.
According to recent statistics compiled by the US Census, almost half of Nevada's population is minority.
Latinos remain at a disadvantage in today's economy because of their relative youth, with half of Latinos in Nevada belonging to the millennial generation, those born in the early 1980's, according to Pew Hispanic Research. For instance, according to NCLR;
- Latinos have lower household income: Latino household income in Nevada in 2014 was $46,640 compared to $51,450 for the state as a whole, and 19 percent of Latinos had income below the federal poverty line, compared to 10 percent of whites.
Fewer Latinos Own a Home: Currently, 44 percent of Latinos in Nevada own homes versus 63 percent of white residents.
Latinos Have Limited Access to Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans: In 2015, only 41 percent of Latinos in Nevada had access to retirement funds compared to 51 percent of the total Nevada population.
Hispanics Least Likely to Have College Degree: Less than 10 percent of Latinos ages 25 or older in Nevada have a bachelor's degree or higher.
However, there are signs of improvement, according to NCLR's report, with higher than average labor participation rates, an increase in Latino-owned small businesses, and an increase in health insurance coverage among Latino children.
Hispanics Lead Nevada in Labor Force Participation: Latinos in Nevada lead the state in the percentage of the population employed in the labor force (66.1 percent of Latinos compared to 58.3 of all people in Nevada).
Increase in Latino-Owned Businesses: The number of Latino-owned businesses in Nevada has nearly doubled between 2007 and 2012, an 86.7 percent increase in that time period.
Gains in Children's Health Coverage: Between 2013 and 2014, Nevada's rate of uninsured Hispanic children dropped from 20 percent to 13.3 percent, the largest drop in the country.