Special Report

The Worst States for Hispanics and Latinos

Source: Thinkstock

25. Utah
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 13.5% (13th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 49.9% (Hispanic), 74.0% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 3.3% (Hispanic), 3.6% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 832 (Hispanic), 367 (white)

Utah is one of only a handful of states in which the unemployment rate among Hispanic workers is lower than it is among white workers. Only 3.3% of the Hispanic labor force is out of a job compared to 3.6% of the white labor force. Socioeconomic advantages among Hispanics in Utah appear to stop there, however. White Utah residents are more likely to have a college education, less likely to be incarcerated, and more likely to have higher incomes than Hispanics in the state to a far greater degree than is typical nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

24. Oregon
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 12.4% (14th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 41.6% (Hispanic), 65.0% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 5.7% (Hispanic), 4.9% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 809 (Hispanic), 506 (white)

Fewer than than 2 out of every 3 Hispanic adults in Oregon have completed high school. In stark contrast, nearly 94% of white adults in the state have at least a high school diploma. The over 30 percentage point difference in high school attainment in Oregon is nearly the largest such gap in the United States.

A high school education is important for financial stability, and the educational attainment gap between whites and Hispanics may partially explain the state’s larger than typical gap in poverty rates in the state. The Hispanic poverty rate of 22.6% is 11.5 percentage points higher than the white poverty rate of 11.1%. Nationwide, the Hispanic poverty rate of 21.0% is 11 percentage points higher than the white poverty rate of 10.0%.

Source: Thinkstock

23. Michigan
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 4.8% (13th lowest)
> Homeownership rate: 54.6% (Hispanic), 77.1% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 6.1% (Hispanic), 4.1% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 588 (Hispanic), 374 (white)

While a shortage of affordable housing, credit problems, and a lack of savings have historically made it more difficult for minorities to buy homes, the disparity in homeownership between whites and Hispanics is smaller in Michigan than in nearly any other state. Some 54.6% of Hispanic households in Michigan own their homes, the fourth largest share of any state and 22.4 percentage points below the 77.1% white homeownership rate. By comparison, the homeownership rate among American Hispanics of 45.5% is greater than 25 percentage points below the white homeownership rate of 71.2%.

The disparity in unemployment, however, is higher in Michigan than in a majority of states. Michigan’s Hispanic unemployment rate of 6.1% is 2.0 percentage points higher than the state’s white unemployment rate of 4.1%. Nationwide the unemployment rate for Hispanic workers of 5.8% is 1.5 percentage points higher than the jobless rate for white workers of 4.3%.

Source: Thinkstock

22. Illinois
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 16.6% (10th highest)
> Homeownership rate: 51.1% (Hispanic), 74.0% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 6.7% (Hispanic), 5.0% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 472 (Hispanic), 258 (white)

Joblessness is a much bigger problem for Illinois’ Hispanic population than it is among its white population. Some 6.7% of the state’s Hispanic labor force is out of a job, 1.7 percentage points higher than the 5.0% white unemployment rate.

College graduates have a greater range of employment options than those without a bachelor’s degree have — and a far greater share of white adults in Illinois have a degree than the share of Hispanic adults. Some 37.8% of white adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree, about 23 percentage points higher than the 14.5% of Hispanic adults who have a bachelor’s degree. Nationwide, the bachelor’s attainment rate among whites of 35.0% is 19.6 percentage points higher than the Hispanic college attainment rate of 15.3%.

Source: Thinkstock

21. Ohio
> Pct. residents Hispanic: 3.5% (10th lowest)
> Homeownership rate: 43.9% (Hispanic), 71.3% (white)
> Unemployment rate: 5.9% (Hispanic), 4.2% (white)
> Incarcerated people per 100,000: 1,072 (Hispanic), 422 (white)

While an estimated 35.0% of white adults and 15.3% of Hispanic adults nationwide have a bachelor’s degree — a 19.6 percentage point difference — Ohio has one of the smaller disparities in higher education of any state. Some 19.7% of Hispanic adults in Ohio have a bachelor’s degree, the ninth largest share in the country and 8.9 percentage points below the 29.4% white college attainment rate.

While lower educational inequality can often reduce disparities in income, Ohio has one of the largest poverty gaps of any state. Ohio’s Hispanic poverty rate of 24.9% is 13.7 percentage points greater than the white poverty rate of 11.2%. Nationwide, the poverty rate for Hispanic Americans of 21.0% is 11.0 percentage points above the white poverty rate of 10.0%.