Report finds Chicago Latinos boost economy

November 16, 2011

(Flickr/Zol87)
The report is not able to measure cultural contribution of Chicago's area Latinos, like this mural in Pilsen.

A new report out Wednesday says Chicago's Latino population is making significant economic contributions.  Juan Carlos Guzman is the report's lead author from Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies. He says debates on immigration have fueled a perception that Latinos are a drain on the economy. So the study wanted in part to measure how big that drain was - specifically on Chicago.

But Guzman said he found the opposite is true. He said, "actually there is not a drain, that actually they are contributing more than what they take."

He said Latinos give $1.2 billion more in tax revenues to the Chicago area economy than they use in government services. Guzman says that calculation includes undocumented workers, as well, as they based their studies off U.S. Census figures which do not discriminate based on citizenship. 

The report also finds more Latino's are settling in Chicago's suburbs and doing better than their city counterparts. Suburban Latino kids have a better chance of graduating high school, their parents are more likely to own a home, and families have better access to health insurance.
 

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