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Datos: Advance, Opportunities and Challenges.
By Carmen Cornejo: Hispanic Outreach Coordinator; Principal: Critical Mass Communications, LLC.
I love statistics and graphs. I started my professional life as an intern in Monterrey Tech analyzing data for social research studies with one of the best social scientist in Mexico. Back in the day, I fell in love with statistics because the powerful way they have to convey information and meaning.
That is why I love Datos: The State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market, an event organized annually by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. This year was its 18th edition. Datos presented statistics, information and clever graphics in a presentation and a digital publication which paints an accurate portrait of the current state of the Hispanic Community and projects the future. As Doctor Loui Olivas, ASU -W.P. Carey Professor Emeritus and head researcher of the project said, “It’s not prophecy, it’s mathematics”.
Good news. We Hispanics in Arizona are an economic force that will reach 50 billion dollars in purchasing power by next year. According with the census bureau, the percentage of Hispanics living in poverty fell from 25.6% in 2012 to 23.5% last year in spite of the slow economic recovery and we are the only major demographic group who has shown a drop in poverty.
We are a group of young people. In Arizona we make up 30% of the population and our children are the majority of students K-8. Nationally, 66,000 Hispanics turn 18 years of age every month, making them eligible to vote.
Datos presents information about Hispanics usage of technology. We as a demographic block are early adopters of certain technologies but our homes still lag behind in the use of home computers. Hispanic homes are more likely to stream or download video or audio than other groups and we are more digitally engaged than other demographic groups. US Hispanic accounted for the largest increase in internet usage between 2009 and 2012, with a 13 percentage point increase.
This looks great but also represents a challenge to us. In order for the USA to continue being an economic power, we need to provide educational opportunities for all. It is critical to increase the involvement of Hispanics in STEM areas, which unfortunately we still do not have the numbers of graduates and workers to be in the comfort zone. Hispanic workers in STEM represent only 6.5 percent of the total workforce. Please go to this study by the US Census Bureau. This is an imperative: we need to move our community from consumers of digital products and early adopters to electronic creators and innovators.
Our visions and creativity will be keys to move our country, as one, to new levels of excellence only if we are willing to face the challenges and lead the way.
For more information on Datos follow Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce http://www.azhcc.com/