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The Need, The Population We Serve, Demographics and Socioeconomics
According to Flores (2017), in his article published at the Pew Research Center titled “How the U.S. Hispanic population is changing”, the Latino has reached nearly 58 million in 2016. Thus it has been the main driver of U.S. demographic growth, accounting for half of national population growth since 2000. In Anne Arundel County, the Hispanic/Latino population is the fastest growing ethnic group. According to the Census Bureau (2016), it represents 7.5% of the total population of our county. This population has grown from about 12,000 to about 40,000, a more than 3-fold difference between 2000 and 2016 in Anne Arundel County (https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml?src=bkmk and http://censusviewer.com/county/MD/Anne%20Arundel). The Hispanic/Latino residents are distributed throughout the county, but as stated by Poverty Amidst Plenty (CFFA, 2015), they have concentrated largely in Annapolis, representing over 17% percent of the total population of the city. The report also highlights the need for more learning and enrichment programs, especially for low-income youth. In the County, while all other races combined have a median annual household income level of $83,456, Hispanics/Latinos households earn $65,220 a year (2006-2010). While 3.3% of all other races/ethnicities have their families living below poverty, 8.0% of Hispanic/Latino families live in the same condition.
Data from Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) demonstrates that, in March 2015, there were 3,759 English Learners Acquisition students, the majority of them being Hispanic/Latino. This ethnic group is far behind their peers in the percentage of students with proficiency in reading. The 2016 Research Report by the Society for Human Resource Management, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute states that rising the educational attainment of Hispanics is, perhaps the best way to ensure that Hispanic students are prepared to fill the jobs of the future.
Additionally, according to the 2013 report by the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the unemployment rate for Latinos averaged 7.7 percent compared to 3.3 percent for whites. In terms of health insurance, the disparity is even greater: 7.2% of whites, 15% of blacks and 10% of Asians are uninsured, while 38.6% of Hispanic/Latino do not have health insurance (AA County Department of Health – Report Card of Community Health Indicators, May 2013). As stated on the Minority Health Disparities Plan of Action Report (2010), the percent of pregnant Hispanic/Latino women who received late or no prenatal care was about 3.5 times the percent for white women for the period 2004 to 2008 combined.
According to the Report on Food Security in the United States (USDA, 2017), 1 in 5 (20%) Latinos are food insecure as compared to just 1 in 10 (9.5%) white, non-Hispanics and 1 in 8 (13%) Americans overall. Latino children are particularly affected by food insecurity; 1 in 4 Latino children (24%) live in a food-insecure household as compared to 1 in 8 (13%) white, non-Hispanic children.
The explosive growth of the Latino population in the United States means this ethnic group is projected to make up 26% of the U.S. population by 2050. The Hispanic population tends to be younger than comparable groups, so Latinos represent America's future. As a consequence of other aging populations that are achieving its time to retire, the Hispanic/Latino youth are many of our future teachers, accountants, engineers, lawyers and doctors. The future economic wellbeing and competitiveness is increasingly dependent on the success of the Latino population.
As a result of this growth, the Center of Help is faced with the ever-increasing need to serve this community. Many of our clients require repeated visits seeking assistance, due to a basic lack of literacy and the varied nature of the challenges faced by individuals who come for help.
Our families are faced with challenges accessing government-based services, and these services are not always bilingual. The Center often receives referrals from governmental and other agencies. Based on our internal data, we serve: 62% women, 38% men; 98% Hispanic/Latino and 2% others; 10% under 21 years of age, 75% from 22 to 40; 10% from 41 to 60, and 5% older than 60 years of age. The great majority of people we serve live in families with incomes at the federal poverty level or below.