(Source: Nebreska.org)

Nebraska’s Hispanic/Latino population is exploding. A report released last week by the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research (CPAR) predicts the number of Hispanic/Latinos in the state will more than triple by the year 2050.

In the 2010 census, there were 167,405 Nebraskans who self-reported as Hispanic. The UNO CPAR looked ahead to the year 2050 and predicts there will be 538,941 Hispanics. Hispanics will account for 24 percent of Nebraska’s population, compared to 9 percent in 2010.

“It means that Hispanics and Latinos are the main engine of population growth not only in the country and in the state,” said Lissette Aliaga-Linares, a research associate in the UNO Office of Latino/Latin American Studies.

What’s fueling the engine? First, although the state’s overall population will grow, the number of Nebraskans considered white/non-Hispanic is predicted to decline by more than 100,000 between now and 2050, with the aging of the baby boomer generation. There has been a lot of migration of Hispanic/Latinos to Nebraska in previous decades, but this will actually slow in the future.

“So going forward, it’s not going to be immigration necessarily that drives Hispanic/Latino growth, but natural change,” according to David Drozd, research coordinator for the UNO Center for Public Affairs Research.“So while in the 1990s we had people coming here and then maybe later on brought their spouses and things like that after the initial wave of coming here for jobs, now people are having families and you have people born in the early 1990s hitting age 20, 25 and starting their own families. So the births being so much higher than the deaths will take the population of Hispanic/Latino higher into the future.”

Plus, the Hispanic/Latino population already here is likely to stay. Partially for reasons that make Nebraska attractive to anyone: jobs, cost of living, low crime and good schools. But also for reasons more related to culture.

Read more at Nebrask.org

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