Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Study on Latinos in Charlotte

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute released a needs assessment study of the Latino population in Charlotte—the Institute funded my work this past year, but I wasn’t involved in this particular study, which did not address politics. For anyone interested in new growth Latino immigration or Charlotte specifically, it is worth a look. Kudos to Jana Harrison, the Senior Associate Director of the Institute.

One thing I found particularly interesting is that although there are some services for the Latino community, they are not located where that population lives. Perhaps there is an assumption that Latinos would live downtown, which is where the services are, but they don’t. Nice maps too, from my colleagues in Geography.

Also, in contrast to the stereotypes flying around about the Latino population, it shows many signs of stability. For example, 65 percent of respondents in the Institute’s survey were married, and 41 percent owned homes (though, as they note, the transient population would be under-represented in their survey, so that number may be a bit inflated). Amazingly, although 78 percent of the Latino population makes $40K or less a year, one quarter of those still owned their home. One problem with this, as the study notes, is that they may be overextended—in fact, foreclosures have been a major topic here in the past year.


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