New Study on Millennial Latinos

Much is written about Latinos, America's fastest growing minority, changing the fabric of America. But as much attention as is given to Latinos as a whole, surprisingly little has been written about Millennial Latinos, those of us born between 1982 and 2003 - part of the largest and most diverse generation in American history.  This is especially shocking when you consider that we are the true engine of Latino population growth: thirty-four percent of Latinos are under age 18. We represent more than 20% of the Millennial Generation; never before has a minority ethnic group made up this large a share of young America. 

In an effort to fill that knowledge-gap, today Democracia Ahora, a Latino advocacy organization, released a National Study of Young Hispanics by pollsters Bendixen & Amandi.  The study, comprised of 1,500 English and Spanish language interviews with young Latino voters (18-29) and citizens (16-17), offers an interesting glimpse into a world that most are just beginning to learn about.  Among the study's key findings:

  • 2/3 of young Latinos identify as "bicultural" and only 1/6 identify more with "American culture"
  • 83% believe discrimination is an important problem for them personally
  • Despite the overwhelming response on the question of discrimination, 91% believe in the American Dream
  • Like other Millennials, the majority gets their news online
  • But unlike other Millennials, a majority also watches Spanish language TV with some frequency
  • Like other Millennials, a plurality supports an activist approach to government
  • Yet a plurality doesn't know what their political ideology is
  • Young Latinos are registered as Democrats 4:1, many citing the party's inclusivity as a major rationale
  • Less than 10% express interest in the 2010 Elections

Our youth gives us incredible long-term potential.  Every year for the next 20 years, 500,000 Latinos will turn 18 and become eligible to vote.  We have the capacity to determine the success of candidates and political parties in the short and long term.

Here's the catch: most advocates and campaigns know very little about Millennial Latinos.  They don't know who we are or where to reach us. Corporate America, by contrast, is keenly aware of the potential buying power of this demographic and far ahead in their efforts to court Millennial Latinos- marketing everything from bilingual cartoons characters to energy drinks inspired by Mexican luchadors - directly to us.     

In the next few days I am going to do a bit of a deeper dive on each of the main findings.  Be sure to stay tuned.