Latinos in the United States helped propel the national economy forward with a total economic outuput, or gross domestic product, of $3.2 trillion in 2021, according to a new study by UCLA researchers and colleagues.

The findings of the latest U.S. Latino GDP Report, produced annually by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture and California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, show that even amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic conditions in 2021, the U.S. Latino GDP grew by an inflation-adjusted 7.1%, surpassing the $3 trillion mark for the first time.

Bar chart showing where Latino GDP falls among the GDPs of 10 large countries.
2023 U.S. Latino GDP Report | Source: International Monetary Fund

If Latinos in the U.S. were an independent country, the researchers found, their GDP would be the world’s fifth largest, outpacing even the United Kingdom, France and India. Among the 10 largest GDPs in the world, the U.S. Latino GDP grew at the second-fastest rate across 2020 and 2021; only China’s GDP grew faster. Despite being only 19% of the U.S. population, Latinos were responsible for 39% of the growth of U.S. real GDP during 2020 and 2021.

The data highlight Latinos as an important source of resilience for the broader U.S. economy, said report co-author Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, a UCLA professor of medicine and public health and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture. With their growing numbers — between 2010 and 2021, Latinos accounted for more than half of population growth in the U.S. — strong labor force participation and rapid gains in educational attainment, Latinos will contine to have a significant impact on the growth of the U.S. economy in the decades ahead, he said.

► Read the full report on the website of the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture.

Hayes-Bautista and Matthew Fienup from the Latino GDP Report presented their findings at an event at UCLA on Sept. 13 that also featured former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Univision news anchor Gabriela Teissier, media influencer Carlos Alazraki and Elizabeth Blanco Parrott of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Watch the full event below.