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Latina voters have higher education attainment than males 

The Graduate Center of the City University of New York’s Center for Latin America, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) has issued its seventh Latino report in partnership with CNN en Español which examines the socioeconomic changes among Hispanic women in the United States (1990-2014).

The CLACLS report, Latinas: Socioeconomic Changes Among Hispanic Women in the United States 1990-2014 shows that Latinas have registered to vote and voted at higher rates than Hispanic males as evidenced in each presidential election between 1992 and 2012, and in all likelihood this will be the case in November 2016. One factor which may be used to explain this is the fact that Latinas have consistently had higher educational attainment rates than Latino males exemplified by a greater percentage of college graduates.

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However, despite being better educated than their male counterparts, Latinas make less money and have higher rates of poverty. This is a major problem when Latina household heads are examined. By 2014 nearly half of all Latino households were headed by women. Yet even those women with college degrees earned less than men who had achieved B.A. degrees or higher, and they had higher poverty rates as well.

“Poverty within the Latino community remains a significant challenge to its economic mobility,” said Laird W. Bergad, author of the report and director of CLACLS. “While there has been progress to be certain, Latina heads of household, as well as Latinos, still face major difficulties reflecting the hardening of social stratification within the broader community.”

To be sure, educational attainment rates among Latinos have risen steadily since the early-1990s, yet these rates are still considerably low when compared to other racial/ethnic groups nationwide. Until a marked increase in rates of college graduation are achieved by both sexes, poverty will remain a central component of the Latina and Latino experience.

CLACLS’ Findings:

  • Latinas have had higher voter registration rates than Hispanic males in every presidential election between 1992 and 2012;
  • Latinas experienced steady improvement in educational attainment between 1990 and 2014, particularly in rates of college graduation; and
  • Quite significantly, a greater share of Latino households were headed by women between 1990 and 2014.

CLACLS’ Recommendations:

  • When income and poverty rates are examined, it is very clear that: 1) income is closely connected to educational attainment levels; and 2) Latinas, even those who have graduated college, earned significantly less than men between 1990 and 2014. This is linked to two factors: the lack of adequate enforcement of existing equal pay for equal work laws that include the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act of 2009, and the fact that a greater portion of Latinas do not work out of the home as their work is largely unpaid domestic labor. 
  • Organizations working with Latino groups would do well to recognize the need for adequate enforcement of these equal-pay-for-equal-work-laws in the United States. One of the reasons that Latina household heads had lower incomes was in all likelihood linked to deficiencies in the application of these laws. Another is clearly connected to employment data which indicate that Latina heads of households had significantly higher ‘out of the workforce’ rates than males.

The CLACLS’s flagship program is the Latino Data Project, established in 2003 by Laird W. Bergad founding and current CLACLS director. The Latino Data Project conducts detailed quantitative research on the Latino population of the United States and New York City metropolitan region, analyzing raw data files produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies.

About the CNN en Español and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies Partnership:

CNN en Español and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), have partnered to provide an exclusive focus on Latino voters in America, the fastest growing minority voting bloc that could play an instrumental role in determining the next President of the United States. Through rigorous academic research generated by CLACLS’ Latino Data Project, CNN en Español will broadcast detailed reports about Latinos in the American elections over several multi-media platforms geared toward Spanish-speaking audiences around the world, including 7.4 million U.S. households.

For a copy of the report and the policy brief on Latinas: Socioeconomic Changes among Hispanic Women in the United States, 1990-2014, visit the CLACLS Latino Data Project.

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Press Contacts:

CNN Communications

Isabel Bucaram, US

305 400 6806

isabel.bucaram@turner.com

 

Mariana Pinango, LatAm

404 827 3803

mariana.pinango@turner.com

 

The Graduate Center, CUNY

Tanya Domi

212 817 7283

TDomi@gc.cuny.edu