Despite the 47 million Hispanics facing acute economic and political pressures in the nation they are hopeful for what the future may bring. A recent poll of more than 1,500 Latinos conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago revealed some surprising statistics.
The recession erased millions of jobs; especially taking a heavy toll on Hispanics whose average income is lower than others. Forty-five percent say they or a family member have lost a job since last September. “The situation is bad now, but I have faith that this is going to change,” says Yadilka Aramboles, a 32-year-old Miamian from the Dominican Republic.
Over half of Hispanics expect life will be easier for their children in terms of job prospects, buying a home, and the expectations to obtain an education. Despite their educational aspirations however, 37 percent of Hispanics are not high school graduates (compared to 14 percent of the overall population) and only 12 percent have college degrees. Hispanic parents however are beginning to place an emphasis on their children to attend college; ninety-four percent say they expect their children to obtain an education for their future
As for their place in society, Hispanics have as diverse a sentiment as the different Hispanic nationalities that exist. Over 54 percent say it’s important to assimilate into society while 66 percent think they should remain their distinct culture. Foreign Hispanics are likelier to expect their children to attend college and have a better lifestyle, and think it’s important for them to blend into society then their U.S. born counterparts. But even among Hispanics there is a distinct difference between the Immigrants, U.S. natives, citizens, non-citizens, and between those who mostly speak English or Spanish.
The Nielson Company and Stanford University sponsored poll highlighted the obstacles special to the Hispanic community; their high unemployment rates compared to other groups, fragmentation of nationalities and preferences, but their firm hope for the future of their children.