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Report: Hispanic Americans Add $46 Billion to Arizona's Economy

PHOTO: $46 billion of Arizona's economy this year will come from consumer spending linked to Hispanic Americans in the state, according to this year's annual DATOS report, due on Sept. 16th. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor.
PHOTO: $46 billion of Arizona's economy this year will come from consumer spending linked to Hispanic Americans in the state, according to this year's annual DATOS report, due on Sept. 16th. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Labor.
September 4, 2014

PHOENIX - Hispanic Americans are projected to contribute $46 billion to Arizona's economy this year, according to a forthcoming report from the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The annual DATOS: The State of Arizona's Hispanic Market report reveals the state's Hispanic population, now numbering two million, has doubled since 1990. James Garcia, communications director with the Chamber, says that population is a major economic driver in the state.

"When you have that kind of population growth, you're going to have consumer spending affiliated with it," says Garcia. "You're going to have steadily increasing numbers, and that number probably would be even higher if not for the recession."

Garcia says the economic impact of Hispanics in Arizona has increased by about $3 billion per year for the past several years. He says the complete DATOS report will be released Tuesday, September 16th, at the annual DATOS conference being held at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

According to Garcia, another factor in the state's significant economic growth is more Hispanic Americans are receiving an education and starting their own businesses.

"More of us going to college, more of us graduating from college," he says. "The high school dropout rate is starting to decline, but it's also a reflection of where we are in terms of our movement into the middle class. We're becoming a larger proportion of the entrepreneurial class, i.e. small business owners."

Garcia says there are about 70,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in Arizona and more than three million nationwide. He says Hispanic Americans contribute about $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy each year.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ