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Latinos are Rising, But Why?

Mundo Latino Market in North College Park

I recently received requests from a few UMD students on my previous blog post on the increasing Latinos / Hispanic population in the city.

According to the 2010 census data, Hispanics / Latinos have added the most to city’s population in the past 10 years. In terms of percentage, that number is a whopping 58.5%. A similar number for Whites is only 4.25%, Blacks (6.6%) and Asians (5.57%).

I was asked if I could explain the reason behind such a drammatic  rise of Hispanic population. I wish I were a social scientist and could explain the trend using volumes of research data, but having lived in the area for more than a 12 years, I think I can give a shot.

I think this is part of trend that we’ve been seeing in our areas. There could be several factors:

  • Job: Studies have shown a significant number of recent Latino immigrants are mostly day laborers, who want to stay close to places where they can easily find jobs, especially short-term day jobs. DC areas would be perfect place to find such jobs.
  • Transportation: They would like to live in places where they can easily commute to their work, through Metro and cars. College Park has two Metro stations, Greenbelt, and College Park.
  • Close to other existing heavily populated Hispanic neighborhood: Folks like to live close to places where they find people from similar background. Remember Langley Park is almost a Latino town, Silver Spring is close.
  • Affordable housing: College Park’s houses are old, smaller in size and still affordable compared to houses in  neighboring Montgomery Co.
  • Latino Stores: There are a bunch of Latino stores in Langley Park and also in College Park (see Mundo Latino in north college Park)

There could be other factors that are driving the rise in Hispanic population, but these are the ones that come to my mind. If you have any other ideas, I’d like to hear.

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