Oct 13 2009

U.S. Latino Families, Heads of Households, and the Elderly


Filene Fellow Barbara Robles has released the third in her series of reports detailing the financial needs of the U.S. Latino population. In U.S. Latino Families, Heads of Household, and the Elderly: Emerging Trends in Financial Services and Asset-Building Behaviors, Robles focuses on a number of key features of the Latino financial experience including:

  • The Latino community has a growing demand for transactional and savings products.
  • Certain demographic features of the Latino population present unique opportunities, such as the incidence of multiple generations living under one roof, a lower than average age than the overall population, and a higher frequency of married couples.
  • Latinos seek products that will allow them to build assets: individual development accounts, educational savings accounts, investment accounts, and mortgage.

Robles notes that Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States. As of September 2008, one-half of the five-year-old and younger cohort in the United States are members of so-called minority groups. Looking forward, this trend is sure to accelerate, as Latinos and other minority groups have much higher growth rates than the population average. These trends have important implications for long-run consumer financial well-being because many financial decisions and behaviors are transmitted from one generation to the next. And, as in past generations, today’s immigrants and newcomers will likely become tomorrow’s middle class.

Robles concludes that a bold credit union agenda that partners with community stakeholders and community-based organizations can create a financial consumer membership “portal” for Latino low-to moderate-income families and extended family members.

This report was made possible, in part, by support from the National Credit Union Foundation and its signature national program, REAL Solutions.

Report Number 195