Special Report

The Worst States for Hispanics and Latinos

Source: Thinkstock

35. Alabama
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 4.0% (12th lowest)
> Homeownership rate: 47.1% (Hispanic), 76.5% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 5.2% (Hispanic), 4.6% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 767 (Hispanic), 535 (white)

Some 30.1% of Hispanics in Alabama live below the poverty line, the largest such share of any state with the exception of Kentucky. Alabama also has the third largest gap in poverty rates between white and Hispanic residents of any state, at 17.9 percentage points. In comparison, the Hispanic poverty rate nationwide is 21.0% — 11 percentage points higher than the white poverty rate.

By other measures, the differences in economic and social outcomes between whites and Hispanics are not as great as they are nationwide. And the differences in unemployment, incarceration, and bachelor’s degree attainment rates between white residents and Hispanics are smaller.

Source: Thinkstock

34. Montana
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 3.4% (8th lowest)
> Homeownership rate: 54.5% (Hispanic), 69.6% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 6.2% (Hispanic), 4.0% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 994 (Hispanic), 423 (white)

In the United States, some 15.3% of Hispanic adults and 35.0% white adults have a bachelor’s degree — a difference of nearly 20 percentage points. In Montana, 24.1% of Hispanic adults have a bachelor’s degree, the fourth largest share of any state and only 8 percentage points less than the white college attainment rate of 31.9%. The state also has relatively small disparities in high school attainment, homeownership, and poverty rates between the two demographics.

Montana attracts relatively few Hispanic immigrants. In 2016, just 96 residents from Mexico, South America, or Cuba obtained green cards in Montana, the third fewest of any state when adjusted for population.

Source: Thinkstock

33. Florida
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 24.1% (6th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 49.6% (Hispanic), 73.1% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 4.5% (Hispanic), 4.3% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: N/A, 626 (white)

With 5.1 million residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino, Florida has the largest population of people of Spanish-speaking or Latin American origins of any state after California and Texas. Disparities in socioeconomic outcomes between Florida’s Hispanic and white populations are not as stark as they are on average nationwide.

For example, the white poverty rate nationwide is 10% and the Hispanic poverty rate is 21.0%. In Florida, the disparity is lower as 10.6% of white Floridians live in poverty, while 18.9% of Hispanics and Latinos in Florida do.

Source: Thinkstock

32. Georgia
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 9.2% (24th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 44.7% (Hispanic), 72.5% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 4.0% (Hispanic), 3.9% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 1,099 (Hispanic), 640 (white)

Nationwide, Hispanic workers are about 35% more likely to be unemployed than white workers. In Georgia, some 3.9% of the white workforce and 4.0% of the Hispanic workforce are unemployed, each some of the lowest and more equal figures of any state.

In a number of other socioeconomic measures, Georgia is representative of the disparities that exist between white and Hispanic Americans nationwide. In Georgia, the typical Hispanic household earns $46,389 a year, nearly $16,000 less than the typical white household income of $62,023. Nationwide, the median household income is $63,155 for white households and $46,882 for Hispanic households.

Source: Thinkstock

31. Texas
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 38.6% (2nd highest)
> Homeownership rate: 55.8% (Hispanic), 69.8% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 4.9% (Hispanic), 4.2% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 972 (Hispanic), 768 (white)

Hispanic residents comprise 38.6% of the population of Texas, the largest share of any state other than New Mexico. While minorities are less likely to be homeowners than white Americans in every state, the gap in homeownership between white and Hispanic residents in Texas is the second smallest in the country. An estimated 55.8% of Hispanic households own their homes, the third largest share of any state and 14.0 percentage points less than the 69.8% white homeownership rate.

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