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Who are the Latino baby boomers? Demographic and economic characteristics of a hidden population.

Research paper by Zachary D ZD Gassoumis, Kathleen H KH Wilber, Lindsey A LA Baker, Fernando M FM Torres-Gil

Indexed on: 15 Apr '10Published on: 15 Apr '10Published in: Journal of aging & social policy



Abstract

The United States is confronting two simultaneous demographic shifts with profound implications for public policy: population aging and increasing diversity. These changes are accelerating during a dramatic economic downturn, placing entitlement reform prominently on the national policy agenda. Using decennial census data from 2000, this paper examines the nexus of these trends by examining characteristics of Latino baby boomers. In the census data, Latinos constituted 10% of the 80 million boomers; roughly one-third of Latino boomers (37%) were born in the United States or abroad to a U.S. parent; 6% were born in a U.S. territory; 21% were naturalized citizens; and 36% were noncitizens. Compared to non-Latinos, Latino baby boomers had lower levels of education, home ownership, and investment income and higher rates of material hardship and poverty; however, there was considerable variation based on citizenship status. A better understanding of Latino baby boomers will help policy makers anticipate the retirement needs of baby boomers as the United States prepares for the aging of a racially and ethnically diverse population.