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Author(s):Chapa, Jorge
Subject(s):latinos, programs, policy, public, population, employment, demographic
Abstract:Given the rapid growth of the Latino population of Illinois, it is now essential to deepen our understanding of this group. This population increase is occurring at a time when the economy has yet to recover from the Great Recession and many of the state’s public institutions are facing severe fiscal challenges. This chapter will outline the demographic characteristics of the Latino population including educational attainment and employment statistics. It will then assess the participation of Latinos in the educational institutions and prospects for Latinos’ participation in the labor force and the economy. The results of the 2010 Census indicate that Illinois’ Latino population grew by about 33 percent between 2000 and 2010. The state’s non-Latino population decreased by 0.8 percent, so all of Illinois’ population growth in the last decade was due to the increase in Latinos. Latino college students learn more when they have Latino instructors. Increasing the number of Latino faculty in Illinois public higher education could increase Latino participation and success. Given the concentration of Latino students and the paucity of Latino faculty, this is an urgent priority for community colleges. One way to improve Latino attainment of BA and advanced degrees would be to increase transfers from community colleges to universities. Latinos are concentrated in jobs with low pay and few benefits. The same jobs had better pay and benefits in the recent past. Improving these would have a positive impact on many workers and their families. It is also important to do what we can to create more jobs in Illinois that pay well and create employment opportunities for highly skilled workers.
Issue Date:2012-02-03
Publisher:Institute of Government & Public Affairs
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-06-11

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