Economic Profile Provides Insight into Long Beach Latino Community

Community members watch California State University, Long Beach economics department chair Seiji Steimetz present the “Long Beach Economic Profile and Impact Report” at the first Latino Economic Summit in Long Beach, California, Nov. 13, 2018.

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Nov. 13, 2018 – More than 209,000 Latinos live in Long Beach, California. That means the city’s population is 44.5 percent Latino. So what are the impacts Latinos have on the city’s economy?

Those were just some of the discussion points talked about at today’s first Long Beach Latino Economic Summit, held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

The event brought local leaders and community members together to learn about and discuss the “Long Beach Latino Economic Profile and Impact Report,” research that shows various socioeconomic statistics on Latinos in Long Beach. The purpose of the research was to spark conversations around key policy considerations and implications.

Presented by CSULB economics department chair Seiji Steimetz, some of the report’s findings include the following:

  • Most of Long Beach’s Latino population is concentrated in the north, northwest, and southwest areas of the city.
  • The Latino share of Long Beach’s population has increased by 12.5 percent over the last decade – compared to Los Angeles County’s 4.5 percent growth.
  • The population of foreign-born (born outside of the U.S.) Latino children has declined by 57.4 percent over the last decade – 3 percent of Long Beach Latinos who are under 18 are foreign-born.
  • Around 43,000 Latino children are enrolled in the city’s K-12 education system.
  • “Arts, Humanities, and Other” is the most popular bachelor’s degree category among Long Beach Latino college graduates, and 13.9 percent of Long Beach Latinos who are 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • The amount of Long Beach Latinos who participate in the region’s labor force is 105,000, which represents 42 percent of Long Beach’s working population – consisting of those who are 16 and older.
  • The median annual income of Latino households in Long Beach is $52,000, which is 13 percent lower than the overall median of $60,000.
  • More than one out of every five Long Beach Latino families live in poverty (21 percent) – compared to 8.7 percent of all other Long Beach families.
  • Each year, Long Beach Latinos generate $33 billion in economic activity, supporting nearly 80,000 additional jobs in the region.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia gave the keynote speech at the event. One of the points he focused on was the importance of Latinos taking part in shaping economic policies.

“I grow tired that the only thing [Latinos] can speak to, or have conversations around at the national level, is just around immigration,” Garcia said. “[Immigration] is important, and, in fact, to many Latinos, it’s the most important thing… but we also believe, and are committed to fighting and advocating, in issues around the economy, around infrastructure for neighborhoods, and around public safety. These issues also matter to Latinos.”

Garcia also thanked, among others, Cento CHA, a nonprofit Hispanic-Latino human and social service agency, and CSULB’s economics department for working on this project. CSULB senior economics major Megan Anaya and Steimetz conducted the research by gathering and interpreting census data from the United States Census Bureau and Long Beach’s openLB.

“The success of this report, and the important discussions it motivates, demonstrates what can be achieved when universities, cities, and nonprofits join forces to effect positive social exchange,” Steimetz said. “The CSULB economics department looks forward to a lasting and productive collaboration with Centro CHA and the city of Long Beach.”

The California Department of Social Services sponsored the project.