Posted on October 27, 2019 by Michelle Skidmore

(Oct. 28, 2019) — The National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) featured Demography Professor Rogelio Sáenz as part of its guest blog series to discuss the impact Latinos have had on the economy.

Reframing the Conversation on Latinos

Guest Blog by Rogelio Sáenz, Ph.D.
October 25, 2019

With a population of 60 million and a workforce of 27 million, Latinos are the engine of the U.S. economy. Latinos will become even more important in the growth of the nation's population and economy throughout the 21st century.

While Latinos are often seen as newcomers to the United States, they have an extensive history in this country. Throughout their existence in this country, Latinos have contributed greatly to enriching the U.S. in so many respects. Many Latinos have come to this nation with practically nothing but their ganas, hard-work ethic, and dreams to better themselves and their families. Many of them have done very well, improved the socioeconomic viability of their families, and contributed handsomely to the U.S. economy. We find many such examples throughout the communities where Latinos live.

We are an asset to this country! This is the storyline that is often missing from headlines concerning Latinos.

What can we do to bring these facts to the forefront?

Personally, I will be working with the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) to do exactly this. Noel Poyo, executive director of NALCAB, just recently pledged that in 2019, NALCAB "will redouble [its] efforts to defend against poisonous public rhetoric aimed at devaluing our economic contributions. " He emphasizes that NALCAB “will communicate the reality that Latinos are essential to the health of the entire US economy." Accordingly, NALCAB has instituted its hashtag #LatinoEconomicEngine , as Poyo proclaims, “to highlight data that demonstrates the economic value that Latinos and immigrants bring to this country and strategies that build assets in our community." I join NALCAB's efforts and will be collaborating with the organization to reframe the conversation on Latinos, to tell the real story about Latinos, and to correct inaccuracies that have been leveled against Latinos for far too long. Using different social media, over the next few months, I will be writing short articles, sharing facts and data, and highlighting my own research and that of others to begin to reframe our conversation and understanding of Latinos and their important economic contributions to our country.

Without a doubt, Latinos are the nation's economic engine.

We want you completely engaged with us on this effort. Use the hashtag #LatinoEconomicEngine to share information on the contributions that Latinos are making in your communities and in the country. Share widely our essays, data, and other social media information that we will be producing and let us know your thoughts on them. We also welcome suggestions on topics to cover.

Rogelio Sáenz is professor in the Department of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is co-author of the book titled Latinos in the United States: Diversity and Change and co-editor of the book titled International Handbook of the Demography of Race and Ethnicity. Sáenz is a regular contributor of op-ed essays to many newspapers across the country. He can be reached at and on Twitter at @RogelioSaenz42.

— Michelle Skidmore