Latinas register higher 'worry' than other women on health, housing, jobs, survey finds

While 34 percent of all women said they are worried about affording rent or mortgage, 55 percent of Latinas said that concerned them.

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By Suzanne Gamboa

Latinas' economic worries and anxiety about health costs are more intense than for other women overall, a national survey released Thursday shows.

In the third YWomenVote2020 survey, women listed a broad range of issues of concern: health, personal and family safety, caregiving and economic problems.

But Latinas’ worry was more intense on a number of issues, though not as high as black women in some cases. The survey’s results were presented in a briefing to Congress.

Some of the greatest differences in anxiety for Latinas had to do with economic worries. While 34 percent of all women said they are worried about affording rent or mortgage, 55 percent of Latinas and 52 percent of black women said that concerned them.

Sixty-one percent of Latinas said they were more likely to be worried about having affordable and secure health insurance for their families compared to 47 percent for all women. The concern over health insurance has jumped markedly for Latinas in the last year; it was 43 percent in 2018.

In addition, 51 percent of Latinas said they worry about getting or keeping a job with good benefits, compared to 30 percent of all women.

Alejandra Castillo, CEO of the YWCA USA, which commissioned the survey, said this can be attributed in part to the pay gap for women and Latinas. Latinas earn about 55 cents per dollar earned by non-Hispanic white men.

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Castillo said the results set a roadmap for 2020 candidates who are bidding for women’s votes.

“Women want to hear candidates address issues critical to them,” Castillo said. “We hope as we give them this information they are paying attention and thinking about these issues when they come before voters, especially women and triply, women of color."

Worry over safety, discrimination

While 52 percent of all of the 1,000 women surveyed said they were concerned about keeping their family safe from mass shootings, 68 percent of Latinas said that was a worry for them. Seventy percent of black women said it was a concern.

Along with this year's school shootings, 22 people were killed and 26 injured in a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that authorities have said was a domestic terror attack. Police have said the suspect charged in the shooting told them when he was arrested that he wanted to "kill Mexicans."

Black women had the highest concerns about the consequences of white nationalism and hate on their children, family and community, with 55 percent naming it as a concern, while 47 percent of Latinas and 31 percent of women overall did.

The YWCA is the largest provider of services to survivors of domestic violence. Castillo said the level of domestic violence, sexual assault and discrimination that the YWCA has been seeing among Latinas is troubling. That trend is borne out by the increasing levels of anxiety on some issues that the YWCA surveys show, Castillo said.

Nearly half, 46 percent, of Latinas surveyed this year said they had experienced discrimination, that’s a 19 point increase from 2012. More than half of Latinas have experienced discrimination because of their race, up 11 points from 2012.

About 28 percent of Latinas said they have experienced discrimination because of their immigration or citizenship status. There is no 2012 comparison data.

Latinas’ concerns about deportation have increased over the past year by 6 percentage points, from 25 percent in 2018 to 31 percent in 2019.

The survey not only took a closer look at Latinas and other women of color but also whether they are urban, suburban or rural residents and by generation, including members of Generation Z, girls born in the mid to late 1990s and later.

The survey was conducted by Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling group and American Viewpoint, a Republican polling firm. It was conducted Sept. 5 through Sept. 14 on cellphone, online and by landline.

For the overall survey, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent and plus or minus 5.6 percent on the survey of Latinos.

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