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Latinos in Illinois

Latinos in Illinois

Given the rapid growth of the Latino population of Illinois, it is now essential to deepen our understanding of this group. This population increase is occurring at a time when the economy has yet to recover from the Great Recession and many of the state’s public institutions are facing severe fiscal challenges. This chapter will outline the demographic characteristics of the Latino population including educational attainment and employment statistics. It will then assess the participation of Latinos in the educational institutions and prospects for Latinos’ participation in the labor force and the economy. Latino Population Growth The results of the 2010 Census indicate that Illinois’ Latino population grew by about 33 percent between 2000 and 2010. The state’s non-Latino population decreased by 0.8 percent, so all of Illinois’ population growth in the last decade was due to the increase in Latinos. This group comprised 16 percent of the total population in 2010. (See Table 1.) Latinos are an aggregation of many national origin subgroups:Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, etc. Table 2 shows thatMexicanorigin Latinos are the largest of these groups in Illinois, constituting almost 80 percent of the more than 2 million Latinos in the state. Puerto Ricans are almost 10 percent of Illinois Latinos. Table 2 also lists the national origin groups that comprise more than 1 percent of the state’s Latino population, and shows that 5 percent of all Latinos claim one of 18 additional origin or identity groups listed in the census. Table 2 also shows that a substantial portion of all Latinos (39.9 percent) were born abroad and immigrated to Illinois. Puerto Ricans born in the U.S. or in the Commonwealth are citizens by birth.

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"Many studies find that communities experiencing the settlement of Latino immigrants have not been prepared for the concurrent demands for housing, schooling, translators, community specialists and services"

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