Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Latin American Fact Sheet


July 11, 2012

Population
There are over 50 million people in the U.S. today of Hispanic origin. This is the single largest ethnic group in the country, surpassing African Americans. It represents approximately 16% of the total U.S. population. The number of Hispanics in the U.S. today is greater than the entire population of Canada. Over 52% of the 2010 foreign-born population in the U.S. is from Latin America. By 2020, the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to be 70 million, or 21 percent of the U.S. population, and by 2050, it is projected to reach 128 million, or 29% of the population. Hispanics accounted for over 40% of the country‘€™s population growth between 1990 and 2000, and will account for 60% of the US population growth between 2005 and 2050. While close to 70% of the Hispanic population is concentrated in six states (California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Arizona), this share has been declining since 2000 as the number of Hispanics in other areas of the country has grown.

Language
Latinos in the US currently represent the fifth-largest Spanish-speaking community in the world, behind those of Mexico, Colombia, Spain and Argentina. In 1968, of Public High School students studying a foreign language, 37% studied French and 48% studied Spanish. In 2000, 19% studied French and 70% studied Spanish. In 1968, of students enrolled in US institutions of higher education 34% studied French and 32% studied Spanish. In 2002, 14% studied French and 53% studied Spanish. According to the Modern Language Association, since 1995 students enrolled in Spanish language courses at institutions of higher education have exceeded those enrolled in all other modern languages combined.

Business and Entrepreneurship
According to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce there are over 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S., generating over $420 billion in annual gross receipts. In 2010 the US Census Bureau reported that Hispanic-Owned businesses increased at double the national rate. About one of every ten small businesses in the country is currently estimated to be Hispanic. Hispanics account for over 13% of the documented U.S. labor force and are expected to increase to 20% by 2030. According to the Selig Center, Hispanic purchasing power surpassed $900 billion in 2009 and is projected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2014.

Direct Foreign Investment
The U.S. is the largest investor in Latin America after the European Union, accounting for 18% of total inflows to the region in 2011, according to ECLAC. In contrast, despite its recent growth as a regional presence, China represented 9% of the total in 2010, almost the same amount of FDI originating within the region (10%). The rising importance of intra-regional investment reflects the importance of Latin American multinationals (known as Multilatinas or Translatinas) which have consolidated and expanded internationally (including in the US). Some notable examples are CEMEX, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, Petroleos de Venezuela, and others. Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for 10% of 2010 investment flows worldwide.

Trade
Latin America, although not the largest, is among the fastest growing U.S. regional trade partners. Between 1990 and 1999, total U.S. merchandise trade (exports plus imports) with Latin America grew by 163% compared to 82% for Asia, 70% for Western Europe, 24% for Africa, and 93% for the world. Latin America is capturing a larger share of U.S. trade, expanding from 13.3% of total U.S. trade in 1990 to 18.0% in 1999, and 20% in 2010, although this growth has not been uniform across the region. In 2010, the United States exported merchandise to Latin America and the Caribbean worth $257 billion (22% of its world totals), with Mexico and Brazil being among the top ten US export markets. That year the United States imported merchandise from Latin America and the Caribbean worth $358 billion (18% of its world totals), with Mexico and Venezuela among the top ten exporters (and Brazil not far behind). This means the US bought over 40% of the region‘€™s 2010 exports.

Locally, in 2011, 33% of Louisiana‘€™s merchandise exports went to Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico is one of the state’s principal export destinations accounting for 10% of all exports in 2011. Other important destinations in Latin America are Brazil and Chile (each 3%) and Guatemala and Colombia (each 2%). In 2011 Louisiana was ranked seventh in exports among all US states.

Energy
According to the US Energy Information Agency, two of the top five U.S. oil suppliers‘€“Canada, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Nigeria‘€“are in Latin America. Latin America supplies about 30% of U.S. total oil and petroleum imports (measured in annual barrels), almost doubling imports from the Persian Gulf (16%). Including Canada, imports from the Western Hemisphere represent over 75% of the US total.

Environment
More than forty percent of all tropical forest preserved on the planet is located in Brazil. These forests serve as the Earth‘€™s lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide in its atmosphere, producing oxygen, and attenuating global warming. At the same time, Latin American forests are among the vastest sources of biodiversity available in the planet. This biodiversity is essential for the preservation of the genetic integrity of our species. It is also a storehouse of potential medicines and could hold the cure for our most deadly chronic illnesses.

Latin American Fact Sheet

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Upcoming Events

2019 CLASP Américas Award Ceremony & Workshop

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Friday, September 27, 2019
11am-12pm
Author reading with Francie Latour
Location: Hispanic Reading Room

1-1:45pm
Workshop with Duncan Tonatiuh — Maya Codices
Location: Library of Congress, LJ-119
Livestream with classrooms across the U.S.
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5-7:30pm
Américas Award Ceremony
Livestream with classrooms across the U.S.
www.youtube.com/user/LibraryOfCongress

Click here to register for in-person attendance at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Bate papo!: Portuguese Conversation Hour

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A weekly hour of Portuguese conversation and tasty treats hosted by Prof. Megwen Loveless. All levels are welcome!

The theme for this semester will be Passion Fruit. So bring your sweet tooth to try this week’s homemade delicacy: Suco de maracujá.

A talk by Mestre João Grande and Mestre Jelon on capoeira across time and space

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The Spanish and Portuguese Department is hosting this talk with two masters of the art of capoeria. Mestre Joao Grande is one of the last remaining Mestres from the Velha Guarda. He moved to New York in 1990 and, at 86 years old, he continues to hold capoeira classes at his academy in Harlem. He is a student of Mestre Pastinha, the father of capoeira Angola. Mestre Jelon is also from Bahia, and he was the first capoeirista to open up a school in the US back in the 70’s. He was also the choreographer and director of Viva Bahia, a dance group that toured the world showcasing folkloric dances of Northeastern Brazil.

Artful Teaching and Learning: Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum

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The full-day workshop, facilitated by Patricia Sobral, Senior Lecturer of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at Brown University, will lead participants through a series of activities combining the performing, visual, and literary arts. Particular attention will be paid to the performing arts as a means of teaching languages. Participants will be given materials and models that can be applied to a number of fields within the college curriculum for students of all levels and ages. Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Christopher Dunn.

Latin American Writers Series: Luis Negron

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Aleman interviews Puerto Rican writer Luis Negron about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. Note: This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the author

Luis Negron was born in Puerto Rico and is a writer, film critic, and bookseller. The English translation of his short-story collection Mundo Cruel, a work originally published in Spanish in 2010, won the 2014 Lambda Literary Award. Negron has also written a brief collection of chronicles, Los tres golpes (2016), and served as the editor of Los otros cuerpos: Antología de temática gay, lésbica, y queer desde Puerto Rico y su diáspora (2007). His film reviews have appeared in periodicals like Boston’s La semana (Boston) and Puerto Rico’s Claridad and El poeta.

Bate papo!: Portuguese Conversation Hour

View Full Event Description

A weekly hour of Portuguese conversation and tasty treats hosted by Prof. Megwen Loveless. All levels are welcome!

The theme for this semester will be Passion Fruit. So bring your sweet tooth to try this week’s homemade delicacy: Bolo de maracujá.