National Hispanic Survey

Washington, D.C.- The Board of Directors of The Latino Coalition (TLC) today released the results of their 2002 National Hispanic Survey at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The survey was conducted by McLaughlin & Associates’ Opiniones Latinas. One thousand Hispanic adults in the U.S. were interviewed from August 2 ? 14, 2002 for this survey,

which has a margin of error of + 3.1%

“This survey shows very positive signs,” said TLC President Robert de Posada. “Nearly 70% of Latinos believe their children will have a better quality of life than they did, only 12% said worse. This result shows that even through tough economic times, Latinos have hope in the future and believe that

things will get better in the months and years ahead.”

“However, the survey also shows deep concerns in their daily lives and their future,” de Posada added. “A significant majority of Latinos have a negative opinion of our public education system, our health care programs and the current status of our immigration system. They strongly support reform and quick action to address these issues.”

This survey shows three major areas of interest: 1) there is a much more competitive environment for the Latino vote; 2) Latino adults are a force for reform on important national issues: and, 3) there are rising concerns for immigration issues post 9/11. It also shows that there is a significant vacuum

in leadership in the U.S. Latino community.

On education, only 39% of Latinos have a positive view of their local public school system. They cite drugs and violence in schools as the biggest problem facing public education. To address the barriers to quality educations,Latinos support increase funding for public schools over a school voucher program by a 64-32% margin. On one of the most controversial educational issues, Latinos strongly believe that bilingual education programs should focus on making sure students learn English well. Learning English is clearly one of the most important issues for Hispanics.

When asked what they consider to be the greatest barrier that keeps Latinos from succeeding in America, 29% state language, followed by lack of education (19%) and discrimination (14%). “One can argue that lack of English proficiency is the main cause for lower levels of education and for much of the discrimination they face,” de Posada added. “Therefore, politicians should take notice, and make helping Latinos learn English a top priority in their legislative agenda.”

There are rising concerns for immigration issues post 9/11. In an open-ended question, the percentage of Latinos stating that immigration is the most important issue facing Latinos in the U.S. doubled from 9% in 2001 to 18% this year. This number jumps to 28% among non-registered voters.

Discrimination came in second with 17% and education followed with 15%. “Clearly, since 9-11, immigration as an issue is back,” de Posada said.

The survey also showed:

  • 21% of Latinos said they, or a member of their immediate family, is a member of a labor union or a teacher’s association.
  • Only 28% of Latinos have a 401(k) Plan for retirement.
  • 56% of Latinos own a personal computer, while 41% do not access the internet.
  • 48% of Latinos identify themselves with the Democratic Party, compared to 23% with the Republicans.
  • 68% of Latinos oppose a monopoly in the satellite industry, concerned over the availability of Spanish-language programming.
  • 31% of Latinos feel they have been personally discriminated in the past year.
  • 56% of Latinos believe they should become more a part of American society, even if it means losing some of their cultural identity.
  • 30% of Latinos have no health insurance.

The Latino Coalition is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, D.C. TLC was established to address policy issues that directly affect the well-being of Hispanics in the United States. TLC’s agenda is to develop and promote policies that will foster economic equivalency and enhance overall business, economic, and social development of Hispanics. For more information, or to download the entire survey, please visit their website at www.TheLatinoCoalition.com.