Analizando los datos del Censo: buenas noticias para los latinos, pero no lo suficiente para cerrar las brechas

Yuqi Wang, analista de política económica del Proyecto de Política Económica de NCLR

En 2015, los latinos tuvieron mayores ingresos, menos probabilidades de vivir en la pobreza y más probabilidades de tener una cobertura de salud que en 2014. Estas buenas noticias se obtuvieron de los datos de la medición de ingresos y pobreza de 2015 que recién se dieron a conocer. A continuación se exponen algunos puntos positivos de los datos de la Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos:

  • El ingreso de una familia latina promedio creció de $42,491 en 2014 a $45,148 en 2015. Las familias latinas no habían tenido tanto dinero en sus bolsillos desde el año 2000 cuando el ingreso medio familiar llegó a los $45,649. Esta subida del 6.1 % del año pasado superó el crecimiento del 5.2 % del ingreso familiar promedio a nivel nacional.
  • Un millón menos de latinos vivieron en la pobreza en 2015. El porcentaje de latinos que vivió en la pobreza cayó un 2.2 % entre 2014 y 2015, mientras que el índice de pobreza a nivel nacional disminuyó un 1.2 % en el mismo periodo.
  • Los latinos registraron el mayor aumento de seguro médico. La tasa de cobertura de seguro médico aumentó un 3.6 % en 2015, la mayor subida de cualquier grupo étnico o racial.

povertyNCLR destacó estos y otros logros positivos de millones de latinos en 2015 en una hoja informativa (disponible en inglés) que resume los nuevos datos de la Oficina del Censo.

Estas tendencias son la prueba de la perseverancia de la comunidad latina después de años de crecimiento lento.

“Este progreso es la demostración de que el trabajo duro de la comunidad latina, junto con las políticas sensatas que promueven la prosperidad de esta comunidad a largo plazo, están funcionando”, dijo Eric Rodríguez, vicepresidente de la Oficina de Investigación, Defensa y Legislación de NCLR.

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Breaking Down the Census Data: Good News for Latinos But Not Enough to Close Gaps

By Yuqi Wang, Economic Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, NCLR

Demonstrators joined our Affiliate, Latin American Coalition, in North Carolina last week for a DAPA Day of Action, part of rallies that happened all across the country.

In 2015, Latinos were earning more, less likely to live in poverty, and more likely to have health insurance coverage than they did in 2014. This good news came from the recently released 2015 income and poverty data. A few bright spots in the data from the U.S. Census Bureau include:

  • The income of a typical Latino household income grew from $42,491 in 2014 to $45,148 in 2015. Latino households have not had this much money in their pockets since 2000 when median household income reached $45,649. This 6.1% jump from last year outpaced the 5.2% growth of the typical national household income
  • There were one million fewer Latinos living in poverty in 2015. The percentage of Latinos living in poverty fell by 2.2% between 2014 and 2015 while the national poverty rate decreased by 1.2% during the same time. 
  • Latinos saw the highest increase of health coverage. Health coverage grew by 3.6% in 2015, the most growth out of any racial or ethnic group.

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Weekly Washington Outlook — June 6, 2016

US Supreme Court 1935 Washington, DC, USA

US Supreme Court 1935 Washington, DC, USA

What to Watch This Week:

 Congress:

House:

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will consider a series of non-controversial bills under suspension of the rules.  A full list is available here.

On Thursday and the balance of the week, the House will consider the following:

  • R. 5325– Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017 (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Tom Graves / Appropriations Committee)
  • R. 5278– Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule)(Sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy / Natural Resources Committee)
  • Con.Res. 89– Expressing the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy. (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise / Ways and Means Committee)
  • Con.Res. 112– Expressing the sense of Congress opposing the President’s proposed $10 tax on every barrel of oil. (Subject to a Rule)(Sponsored by Rep. Charles Boustany / Ways and Means Committee)

Senate:

On Monday, the Senate will consider S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act.

White House:

On Monday, the president will welcome the Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos to the White House to honor the team and their Super Bowl 50 victory.

On Tuesday, President Obama will meet with Prime Minister Modi of India at the White House. The visit will highlight the deepening of the U.S.-India relationship in key areas since the President’s visit to New Delhi in January 2015

On Wednesday, the president will travel to New York to attend a DSCC event and a DNC event.

On Thursday, President Obama will host a reception at the White House in recognition of LGBT Pride Month.

On Friday, the president will attend meetings at the White House.

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¡Adelante, ACA!

by Danny Turkel, Digital Coordinator, National Council of La Raza

According to a new Census Bureau report, nine million fewer people in the United States were uninsured in 2014 than the previous year. And we’re seeing signs of progress that the law is working for Latinos. While one in three Latinos lacked health insurance in 2010; as of this year, that rate has dropped to one in five, a record low.

Despite these gains, Hispanics continue to have the highest uninsured rate at around 20%. With the third open enrollment period just a few weeks away (November 1), NCLR is gearing up to ensure people who are eligible don’t miss out on the opportunity for quality, affordable, and accessible coverage.

Providing health insurance to so many Hispanics helps to alleviate the pressures of navigating such a predatory health care landscape, especially for a population earning less than the average American worker. Latinos are still twice as likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic White Americans. Likewise, the median income for non-Hispanic Whites stands at $60,256, while Hispanics are taking home about $42,491. That disparity is compounded when combined with the fact that 19 states still refuse to expand their Medicaid programs. Because Medicaid is ultimately a program used to provide health care to low-income earners, that refusal disproportionately affects Latinos and other minority populations.

If every state agreed to expand, approximately 3.7 million Latinos could receive low-cost or free health care. The economic and public health incentives of doing so are clear. Furthermore, two states that have yet to expand Medicaid, Texas and Florida, rank second and third respectively in the size of their Hispanic populations. The failure of Texas and Florida to provide low-cost health care to their residents illustrates the disproportionate suffering felt by Latinos and the inconsistencies of coverage opportunities across state lines.

In spite of the political circus surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the law has ultimately provided relief for millions of previously uninsured Americans, many of whom are Latino. The Affordable Care Act was put in place to allow all Americans to receive at least some form of health insurance and it has been mostly successful in achieving that goal. However, due to political sabotage and intransigence, many of the most vulnerable are still not able to get the care they need. This is especially true for Hispanics and other minorities. The Census Bureau study demonstrates the success of the ACA if it is allowed to function properly. The ACA is something our community needs and wants and NCLR will continue to work to protect the gains that have been made and further increase the number of Americans benefitting from affordable health insurance.

Congress Must Do More to Help Working Families

By Amelia Collins, Associate Policy Analyst, NCLR

According to new data from the U.S. Census Current Population Survey (CPS), income levels and poverty rates for most Americans are unchanged from last year and vast disparities persist between Hispanics and Whites. The Census released the latest data on income and poverty in the United States late last week and includes the CPS, the source for the national official poverty measure. The second set of data released, the American Community Survey (ACS), offers an economic picture at the state and local levels.

Overall, 14.8% of Americans live in poverty. For Whites, the poverty rate in 2014 was 10.1%, less than half the rate of 23.6% for Hispanics.

The median income in 2014 for Hispanics remains below prerecession levels at $42,491. The median income for Whites in 2014 was 42% higher at $60,256.

Although, according to the CPS, there has been no significant change in the overall poverty rate for Latinos over the past year, the number of Hispanics living in poverty has decreased, even with an uptick in the overall Latino population. According to the ACS, in 2014, 252,000 fewer Hispanics, including about 160,000 Latino kids, lived in poverty. This decrease comes even as the total Latino population grew by 1.3 million, including 97,000 children, from 2013 to 2014.

While academics can debate the best source to determine poverty rates, there is no questioning what Congress should do in response to these new numbers: they must pass legislation to help hardworking American families stay out of poverty.

Improving jobs and the economy remain a top priority for the Latino community. A 2014 poll by Latino Decisions and NCLR found that a majority of Latinos continue to worry about their financial security, with 70% concerned they are not earning enough to cover their basic expenses. Unfortunately, Congress has yet to take action on policies that would help millions of Americans stay above the poverty line. Two policies Congress should advance this year to respond to Latino voters’ economic priorities are:

  • Save expiring provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC). The EITC and the CTC are refundable tax credits for American families. Improvements to these pro-work programs made in 2009 are set to expire in 2017. If Congress does not act to make those critical expansions permanent, five million Latino families stand to lose an average of $1,000 each. In total, 16 million Americans will be pushed into or deeper into poverty.
  • Raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 an hour. Doing so would increase the income for millions of working families, including 5 million Latino workers, who are concentrated in low-wage jobs. Persistent wage stagnation has left many families without the means necessary to cover necessary expenses. According to U.S. Census data, over 1.2 million Hispanics who worked full-time year-round lived below the poverty line. These hardworking families deserve to earn a living wage.

As the Latino population continues to grow and their share of the electorate increases, politicians must pay increasing attention to the economic well-being and the priorities of the Latino community. It starts with action for working families.