The Worst States for Hispanics and Latinos

Print Email

Source: Thinkstock

20. Idaho
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 12.0% (16th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 47.7% (Hispanic), 71.3% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 4.7% (Hispanic), 3.8% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 1,026 (Hispanic), 656 (white)

Americans with college education are far more likely to earn higher incomes than those with only a high school diploma. In Idaho, only 9.1% of adults of Hispanic and Latino descent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the smallest share of any state in the country. Meanwhile, some 29.4% of white adults have earned a four-year college degree.

Despite the educational disparity, the income gap between white and Hispanic households in Idaho is not as dramatic as it is nationwide. The typical Hispanic household in the state earns $40,802 a year — about $13,000 less than the median income among white households. Nationwide, Hispanic households earn $46,882 a year — about $16,000 less than the typical white household.

Source: Thinkstock

19. California
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 38.6% (3rd highest)
> Homeownership rate: 42.1% (Hispanic), 62.4% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 6.6% (Hispanic), 5.4% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 757 (Hispanic), 453 (white)

Hispanic and Latino Americans comprise 38.6% of the population of California, the third largest share of any state after Texas and New Mexico. Hispanics in California still lag behind the white population in a number of important socioeconomic measures. Just 12.1% of Hispanic adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree, 31 percentage points below the 43.1% of white adults who do — the largest college attainment gap of any state. Similarly, the median household income for Hispanics of $52,403 a year is nearly $27,000 lower than the median income for white households of $79,353 — the sixth largest such disparity.

Despite the large disparities in education and income, California has smaller gaps in poverty and homeownership rates between the two demographics than a majority of states.

Source: Thinkstock

18. Oklahoma
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 9.8% (21st highest)
> Homeownership rate: 48.8% (Hispanic), 70.2% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 5.1% (Hispanic), 4.2% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 1,876 (Hispanic), 767 (white)

About 1 in 4 Oklahoma residents who identify as Hispanic or Latino live below the poverty line, more than double the poverty rate among the state’s white residents of 12.3%.

Not only are Hispanics far more likely to face serious financial hardship in Oklahoma than white residents, but also they are far more likely to be incarcerated. For every 100,000 Hispanics in the state, 1,876 are in jail or prison, a far greater share than the incarceration rate among the white population of 767 per 100,000 white residents.

Source: Thinkstock

17. Kansas
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 11.3% (17th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 52.8% (Hispanic), 70.0% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 6.5% (Hispanic), 3.7% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 873 (Hispanic), 418 (white)

While the unemployment rate for white workers in Kansas of 3.7% is lower than the national rate of 4.3% for the demographic, Hispanic workers are more likely to be unemployed in Kansas than in nearly any other state. The Hispanic unemployment rate in Kansas of 6.5% is far higher than the 5.8% national figure and 2.7 percentage points above the jobless rate for whites — the seventh largest such gap of any state.

Kansas also has one of the worst gaps in education between the two demographics of any state. Just 63.6% of Hispanic adults in Kansas have graduated from high school, over 30 percentage points less than the comparable attainment rate among white adults of 93.8% — the eighth largest disparity of any state.

Source: Thinkstock

16. Iowa
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 5.6% (18th lowest)
> Homeownership rate: 47.4% (Hispanic), 73.9% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 5.3% (Hispanic), 3.6% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 692 (Hispanic), 324 (white)

Iowa has one of the largest gaps in education of any state between Hispanic and white state residents. Just 60.9% of Hispanic adults have graduated from high school, compared to the 93.7% of whites who have — the third largest disparity of any state. In most other major socioeconomic measures, Iowa is fairly typical of the disparities that exist between the two demographics nationwide.

For example, Hispanics are overrepresented in the U.S. prison population. While Hispanic Americans comprise 17.3% of the U.S. population, they account for 19.0% of the nation’s prison population.