Latinos in U.S. often live in ‘deserts’ where adequate housing, groceries are hard to find

Latinos, who will represent more than one-quarter of all people in the U.S. by 2050, are often concentrated in areas that lack services ranging from adequate housing to health care, according to a recent report.

Those disparities were among the many highlighted in “The Economic State of Latinos in America: The American Dream Deferred,” a report by McKinsey & Company that detailed the obstacles slowing or hindering the economic advancement of the 60 million Latinos who live in the U.S.

“The challenges the Latino community faces in making upward economic gains are only deepened by living in these deserts,” says Bernardo Sichel, partner at McKinsey and one of the report’s authors. “These deserts have an impact on a range of outcomes, such as health and nutrition, options for services, productivity and budget.

All these factors are impacted by the limited choices, necessity to travel for resources, and higher prices on consumer goods.” Latino families typically spend 71% of their income on groceries and other consumer items and services but often struggle to find or access options. “Latinos tend to disproportionately live in segregated and poor areas where they are cut off from opportunities and services and consumer items that most Americans take for granted,” Rogelio Sáenz, a professor in the department of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, said in an email.

“Latinos … disproportionately also do not have easy access to parks, libraries, book stores, high quality schools that are well funded, (and) banks.” Sáenz […]


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