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The Future Majority

A survey of Latinos in San Diego



Published:

(page 1 of 4)

Read more about the survey

San DiegoPhoto by John Bahu
 

Demographic studies predict that by 2060 Latinos will be the majority ethnic group in California, and already, in the last federal election, polling data shows Latino voters made a difference in key swing states. It’s no wonder both political parties realize not only the importance of connecting to Latino voters, but the necessity of it. Locally, one candidate for mayor (who is not Latino) even chose to announce his candidacy in Spanish. And it’s not just politics. It seems everyone from Google to the San Diego Padres to IKEA to this very magazine has an initiative focused on “reaching the Latino market.”

To say Latinos as a group are sought-after is an understatement. Perhaps the only bigger understatement is to say they are, as a group, unanimous. It’s that fact that prompted us to do this story. San Diego Magazine partnered with KPBS and recruited UC San Diego researcher Tom K. Wong to help us conduct a survey of Latinos in San Diego. He’s an expert on immigration issues, too.

Population pie chart

Because whether it’s supporting a sports team, voting for a candidate, attending a university, or buying a magazine, reaching a sought-after group of people is only possible when you start with more listening and less talking.

After poring over the data, we learned many things. For starters, some prefer not to be called “Latino” at all. Of course, the most striking thing we ended up with after a 75-question survey is more questions. We hope to continue the conversation throughout the year. But for now, here’s to a trek up the learning curve and getting to know our neighbors.

Read more about the survey and Tom K. Wong

To listen to an interview with the researcher on KPBS, click here

THE LATINO EXPERIENCE

Born in Mexico graphic

 

50% said it was very important for them to change so that they blend in better to American society
Digging Deeper: "The experience of Latinos in San Diego continues to be a complex and evolving one. For example, in response to the question of how important is it to change in order to blend in, 50% feel that it’s very important, which is significantly higher than the response to the same question in a national survey. This doesn’t necessarily translate into being “more American” and “less Latino.” In fact, among those who feel that it’s very important to blend in, while 61% say that being American is very or extremely important to their identity, 69% feel the same way about their Latino identity. San Diego’s Latino population thus reflects what it means to be a multicultural American.” -Tom K. Wong, Assistant Professor, UC San Diego

 

Education:

have attended some level of college or beyond
have less than an 8th grade education

28%
31%

 
 

Employement:

Full-time
homemaker
part-time
retired
student

33%
27%
14%
11%
5%

 
 

Q. Do you prefer to be called “Hispanic” or “Latino?”

Hispanic
Latino
No Preference:

25%
17%
58%

 
 

Q. How important is being Latino or Hispanic to your identity?

extremely important
very important
moderately important
a little important
not important at all

14%
45%
19%
9%
9%

 
 

Q. How important is being American to your identity?

extremely important
very important
moderately important
a little important
not important at all

13%
34%
21%
10%
16%

 
 

Family Life

are currently married
have children

55%
82%

 
 

Q. How would you describe the average Latino?


How would you describe the average Latino word map

(The size of the words reflects the frequency of responses.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE SURVEY AND HOW THESE RESPONSES WERE GENERATED)

 

Q. How do you think the average San Diegan would describe the average Hispanic?


How do you think the average San Diegan would describe the average Hispanic word map

(The size of the words reflects the frequency of responses.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE SURVEY AND HOW THESE RESPONSES WERE GENERATED)

 

Let's Talk:

Recalled having a conversation in English with someone who spoke louder or slower, because he or she assumed they didn’t speak English

45%

 

Said they generally speak more Spanish than English in their day-to-day lives

47%

 

Said yes, they have been called an immigrant, regardless of whether the person knew their background

31%

 

Said they have been called “illegals,” regardless of whether the person knew their

24.5%

 
 

Q. How much discrimination is there in San Diego?

A great deal
a lot
a moderate amount
a little
none at all

20%
15%
29%
26%
7%

 
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