October 5, 2017

U.S. Latinos Suffer High Hunger, Poverty Rates

Washington, D.C. – Analysis released by Bread for the World today shows that Latinos living in the United States have much higher rates of hunger and poverty than the general population.

In 2016, 18.5 percent of Latino households struggled to put food on the table compared to 12.3 percent of households nationwide. More than 19 percent of Latinos lived below the poverty line compared to the overall poverty rate of 12.7 percent.

“Latinos make significant contributions to our country. Yet, despite their hard work, there are millions of families who are unable to make ends meet,” said Bishop Jose Garcia, senior advisor at Bread for the World. “Latinos have played a key role in strengthening the U.S. economy. With a stronger economy, our nation can better invest in programs that reduce hunger and poverty.”

According to the latest U.S. Census data, 1 in 5 Latino households struggles to put food on the table–almost double the rate for white households. Latino children are nearly twice as likely to have no access to nutritious food as white children. In addition, 30 percent of households headed by an undocumented Latino, and almost 35 percent of female-headed Latino households, live below the poverty line.

Despite slowly declining poverty rates, Latino families are still more likely to struggle. Studies indicate that Latinos are paid lower wages and have higher rates of unemployment.

“Latinos have done their part,” Garcia said. “Now, our leaders should do theirs by making key investments in safety net programs—not cuts. Budget cuts being discussed in Congress weaken Latino communities and hurts our nation’s ability to end hunger.”

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