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Persistent Economic Challenges and Opportunities Facing Latinos in Massachusetts

By Trevor Mattos, Boston Indicators

Phillip Granberry, Ph.D. and Vishaka Agarwal, Gastón Institute at UMass Boston

May 12th, 2022

Massachusetts is among the wealthiest states in the country, and yet Latino communities here have struggled economically relative to Latinos nationwide. There have been some bright spots—poverty rates have decreased and Latinos now have higher rates of entrepreneurship, education and labor force participation than in years past. Still, a disproportionate share of the more than 800,000 Latinos in Massachusetts today experiences poverty and food insecurity, with low rates of intergenerational economic mobility. The pandemic only served to exacerbate some of these longstanding challenges.

Fortunately, our economy has been rebounding from the recession of 2020, providing an opportunity to improve the economic conditions among our state’s Latino communities. So, to help inform thoughtful recovery strategies, this report provides an analysis of the unique challenges facing our state’s Latino communities and concludes with a brief discussion of opportunities for greater prosperity and well-being.

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