The recently released 2022 Census statistics reveal two converging facts about the U.S. population: It is aging, and, simultaneously, becoming increasing racially and ethnically diverse. Indeed, according to a Census news release: “Hispanic (of any race) is the largest gaining and second-fastest-growing race or Hispanic origin category, increasing by 767,907 or 1.24% from 2020 to 2021.” These newly released statistics line up with projections beyond 2030 that consistently point to the continual growth of a racially and ethnically pluralistic U.S. population, comprised of Latinx and other non-Hispanic white groups. Based on sheer population size and growth, Hispanic children and youth will shape the U.S. economic and political landscapes for years to come. Policy and legal decisions—ranging from federal legislative efforts such as the Build Back Better Act, the 2021 expanded child tax credit, and the overturning of federal protections such as those under Roe v. Wade—will inevitably have ripple effects on opportunities for Latino children and youth.   

How this growing population of young people in the U.S. fares matters for a robust U.S. economy and society. Fortunately, we already know a lot about investing to marshal the strengths of Latino families and children.  

  • Investing early and consistently toward college degree completion improves Latino labor market prospects and social integration 
  • Investing in family social and economic support will enhance an already strong foundation of earnings, health, and parenting among Latino families with children
  • Escalated risks to Latino children and families from COVID-19 can be addressed through expanded social safety nets and capitalizing on social connectedness   

Read the full article about investing in Latino youth by Lisa A. Gennetian and Marta Tienda at Brookings.