Monday, October 31, 2005

Oct 31, 2005

Atlanta, GA – Responding to concerns over the lack of data on Georgia's fastest-growing community, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., today released Latinos in Georgia: A Closer Look, a demographic analysis of Georgia's Latino community, which grew almost 300% from 1990 to 2000. The report, produced by NCLR's Georgia Latino/Hispanic Health Agenda and Leadership Project with the support of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Inc., examines the economic, education, and health status of Latinos in the state.
"This report clearly shows that Latinos are a growing and important share of the workers and taxpayers of Georgia and that the entire state's economy depends on their well-being," stated Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO. Unfortunately they are also a vulnerable population, often lacking health insurance and more likely to be in the lowest paying and most dangerous jobs."

Key findings include:
Population Growth:

• Georgia had the third-fastest-growing Latino population of any other state in 2004, and now has the 11th-largest Hispanic population in the U.S.
• Three-fifths (61.9%) of Latinos in Georgia are 29 years old or younger.
• Five Georgia counties - Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Clayton - are home to more than 50% of the state's Latino population.


• One in 14 students enrolled in Georgia's public schools in 2005 (7.8%) is Hispanic.
• Three in five of these students (61%) were classified as Limited English Proficient as of 2001, and about half (49.6%) graduated from high school in 2004.

Economic Status:

• Almost four in five Latinos in Georgia are working or looking for work compared to two-thirds of all state residents, yet a higher share of Hispanics, compared to others, lives below the poverty line.
• Hispanic buying power in the state of Georgia grew faster than any other segment of the state's economy - up 710% to almost $11 billion in the past 14 years.
• In 2002, Hispanics applied for and received 9,333 of the small business loans granted to firms in Georgia.

Health Status:

• More than two in five (43%) nonelderly Hispanics in Georgia did not have health insurance, despite their participation in the labor force.
• Only 5% of all doctors and only 2% of all nurses in Georgia are Latino.
• Unintentional injuries, such as workforce and motor vehicle accidents, are the leading cause of death for Georgia's Hispanics, whereas they are only the third-leading cause of death for Hispanics nationwide.

"Because the health of each of us is inextricably linked to the health of all of us, it is important that our portrait of Georgia include the growing number of Latinos calling the state their home," said Dr. Gary D. Nelson, President of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Inc. "A commitment to better health and health care for all Georgians recognizes the disparities and embraces the diversity depicted in this report."
This analysis is the first piece of a larger report also funded by the support of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Inc., on the health status of Hispanics in the state that will provide recommendations to policy-makers, health providers, and the leaders of social service organizations on how to overcome current gaps in state services.
"Hispanics need and want what many other Georgians may take for granted - a quality education and access to health care. Given that Latinos are an increasingly critical part of the region's economy, we urge state officials in Georgia to work with community leaders to ensure that all residents of the state are able to access and receive basic services," Murguia concluded.
The full report, Latinos in Georgia: A Closer Look, can be accessed on the Internet at


The Georgia Latino/Hispanic Health Agenda and Leadership Project is funded by a grant from the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Inc. (Foundation). Created in 1999 as an independent private foundation, the foundation's mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to increase access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities.

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) - the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States - works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Through its network of more than 300 affiliated community-based organizations (CBOs), NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit

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