September 15 kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month. What should normally be a joyous month filled with festivities has been marred by COVID-19 and the somber fact that the virus has disproportionately affected Latinos in Nevada (and elsewhere).
Latinos now account for 45 percent of COVID-19 cases in the Silver State. Additionally, Latinos in Nevada have been economically battered by the pandemic — a trend that bears out nationally. However, these current challenges should not preclude Latinos from finding a moment to celebrate the community’s substantial achievements in Nevada.
Nevada’s Latino population – which accounts for 30 percent of our total population – has increased significantly from 53,879 in 1980 to 716,501 in 2010. Nationally, Nevada has the fifth largest percentage of Latinos, ranking behind New Mexico, California, Texas, and Arizona. We also have the highest number of unauthorized immigrants as a share of the total population (7.1 percent); unauthorized immigrants account for more than one-third of all immigrants in Nevada. The growth of Latinos in Nevada is not an entirely urban phenomenon: the growth rate of the Latino population was higher in Lyon and Nye Counties than Clark County over the period 2000-2010.
Locally, Latinos have made tremendous gains in electoral politics within the legislative and executive branches. There are now nine Latino/a legislators in the Legislature. Nevada has elected a Latino governor and, more recently, the nation’s first Latina U.S. Senator.
Read the entire article at The Nevada Independent.
The portion of this article has been shared as part of our collaboration with The Nevada Independent. It was originally published in English on September 21 and was written by Nancy Brune, Ph.D. She is the founding executive director of the Guinn Center, an independent, non-partisan statewide policy research center. She is a senior fellow at Boyd Law School and serves on the Advisory Council of the Leadership and Law Program. Dr. Brune received her Ph.D. from Yale University and her M.P.A. and several B.A.s from Harvard University. Prior to joining the Guinn Center, she was a Senior Policy Analyst at Sandia National Laboratories, where she worked on national security issues. He can be followed on Twitter @NancyBrune or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.