Magazine article The Futurist

Latinos on the Rise

Magazine article The Futurist

Latinos on the Rise

Article excerpt

Will U.S. be 50% Spanish-speaking by 2050?

The number of U.S.-born Latinos and Latin American immigrants to the United States doubled from 1980 to 1990, U.S. Census Bureau data shows. Latinos residing in the U.S. total 27 million people, make up almost 10% of the population, and are expected to become the largest minority by early in the next century.

Some 1,000 publications already cater specifically to Latino audiences, according to the Smithsonian News Service. The United States has two Spanish-language television networks, as well as numerous radio stations. Major companies such as Honda, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola are pitching more advertising to this growing market, while Latino businesses themselves are gaining ground, selling 10% more during 1991 than in 1990, according to Hispanic Business magazine.

Carlos Fuentes, a well-known writer, predicts that by the year 2050 almost half the U.S. population will be Spanish-speaking. In his recent book, The Buried Mirror, on which a recent TV series co-produced by the Smithsonian Institution was based, Fuentes notes that "Los Angeles is now the second-largest Spanish-speaking city in the world, after Mexico City, before Madrid and Barcelona. You can prosper in southern Florida even if you speak only Spanish, as the population is predominantly Cuban. San Antonio, integrated by Mexicans, has been a bilingual city for 150 years."

Latinos also have their share of problems, stemming from the downturn in the economy. According to Father Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest in Los Angeles, the former system of moving up and out of the barrios, making space for new families, no longer holds true.

"People now find themselves stuck, unable to move up. They stay in the barrio, but the others keep arriving, so the situation gets worse and worse," he says.

Fuentes, however, is optimistic for the future of the Latino community. According to him, "The two cultures |Anglo-Americans and Latinos~ co-exist, rubbing shoulders and questioning each other. We have too many common problems, which demand cooperation and understanding in a new world context, to clash as much as we do."

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Morrisey uses a number of personal values as criteria for identifying possible goals for the future. They include independence, financial return and security, challenge, family considerations, geography, service to others, the need to leave a personal legacy, recognition by peers, professional relationships, power, and ethics. …

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