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Poll: Latinos Concerned About Economy, Doing Better Financially

Image: Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs In July

File photo of Raisa Alvarez (L) helping Ana Celeste Reynoso as Maria Tutiven (2nd R) helps Idali Valasquez as they look for job opportunities on the computers at CareerSource Florida on August 1, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The Latino population is made up of a complexity of people with varying degrees of separation from other countries and with roots in various cultures. Within families, members may have a different status in the U.S., from here illegally, to here on a visa, to legal residency or citizenship.

Trying to find out the views and ideas can be daunting and can vary with each of those factors. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation attempts to give a picture of the state of families who considered themselves Latino, the largest minority in the country.

The foundation commissioned a survey of 1,000 Latinos that was done by Latino Decisions polling company between Sept. 19 and Oct. 15. The results of the cell and landline interviews in English and Spanish have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Respondents were evenly split among U.S. born and foreign-born, although in the U.S. Hispanic population as a whole, about 36 percent was foreign-born in 2012 and Latino immigration has slowed. Respondents were equally male and female, 58 percent spoke English.

Here are some takeaways from the survey results released Wednesday:

-- Although 45 percent of those surveyed believe the country is on the wrong track, 51 percent said their personal finances had gotten “a lot better” or “somewhat better” in the last five years. Those most likely to report their finances had gotten better were 18-39 years old.

-- Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said they own their home, with 51 percent of those who were foreign born reporting ownership.

-- About a quarter named jobs and the economy as the issue concerning them the most, but 73 percent said they were either “very optimistic” or “somewhat optimistic” about the future of their finances and potential future opportunities. Latinos ages 18-39 and parents of children in kindergarten through second grade were the most optimistic.

-- An overwhelming majority, 67 percent, said they would turn to an extra job or more work hours to pay bills and for other necessities in tough economic times.

-- Forty-nine percent said they were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that they or someone in their household might lose a job and be unemployed.

-- Asked where Latinos encounter racism or discrimination the most, 21 percent said Arizona. A greater share of U.S.-born Latinos, 20 percent, said at work while a greater share of foreign born Latinos, 23 percent, said Arizona.