Report

Hispanics and the Economic Downturn: Housing Woes and Remittance Cuts

  • January 08, 2009
  • By Mark Hugo Lopez,Gretchen Livingston, and Rakesh Kochhar

Like the U.S. population as a whole, Latinos are feeling the sting of the economic downturn. Almost one in ten (9%) Latino homeowners say they missed a mortgage payment or were unable to make a full payment and 3% say they received a foreclosure notice in the past year, according to a new national survey of 1,540 Latino adults conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center. Moreover, more than six in ten (62%) Latino homeowners say there have been foreclosures in their neighborhood over the past year, and 36% say they are worried that their own home may go into foreclosure. This figure rises to 53% among foreign-born Latino homeowners.

The survey also finds that the economic downturn has had an impact on the amount of money that Latinos sent to relatives or others in their country of origin in the past year. Among Hispanic immigrants who sent remittances in the last two years, more than seven in ten (71%) say they sent less in 2008 than in the prior year.

Latinos hold a more negative view of their own current personal financial situation than does the general U.S. population. More than three in four (76%) Latinos, and 84% of foreign-born Latinos, say their current personal finances are in either fair or poor shape, while 63% of the general U.S. population says the same.

As a result of current economic conditions, many Latinos are adjusting their economic behaviors. More than seven in ten (71%) report that they cut back spending on eating out. More than two-thirds (67%) planned to curtail holiday spending. Over one-fourth (28%) report that they helped a family member or friend with a loan.

Read the full report Hispanics and the Economic Downturn: Housing Woes and Remittance Cuts on the Pew Hispanic Center's Web site.