Robert Aponte & Marcelo E. Siles
The Hispanic or Latino population in Michigan is quickly becoming a more prominent member of the community. This is partly due to the group’s increased population size, but it is also due to their impressive representation in the labor force and among school-aged youth, as well as their rapidly increasing presence in the business world. However, their poverty levels and underrepresentation in high income jobs continue to be areas of needed attention for the advancement. In 1990, Hispanics accounted for only 2.2% of Michigan’s total population. This proportion represents an increase from the 1980 percent of only 1.8%. Among the various nationalities that together comprise the Latino population, Mexicans are the dominant group with about 69% of the Hispanic population in Michigan, while Puerto Ricans, the second largest group, comprised just under 10%, with the remainder accounted for by Cubans with nearly 3% and a mix of “Other Hispanics” accounted for nearly 20%. The profile of Michigan’s Hispanics shown is that of a unique population that is growing at a time when non-Latino Whites are shrinking in number. The relative youthfulness of Latinos and their proclivity for labor force participation also point out that jobs and education are relevant policy concerns.