New NCoC Report: Latinos Civic Health Index (2015)
In the 1980’s, Latinos were described as America’s sleeping giant.
Over these decades, Latinos have gradually increased their civic aptitude and today are influencing the country’s civic life. With the release of the National Conference on Citizenship’s (NCOC) Latinos Civic Health Index, we now have an in-depth understanding of Latino civic engagement across a wide range of indicators.
The report finds that Latino youth are at the forefront of increasing civic engagement within their communities. While overall Latino civic participation rates are lower than the rest of the population, improved educational opportunities, English language proficiency, and a higher than average rate of social media usage create increased avenues for youth engagement.
Two particularly interesting findings are that young Latino Internet users use social networking sites at higher rates (80%) than non-Latino whites (70%) and African Americans (75%). Additionally, lower income Latino youth are more likely than their higher income Latino counterparts to use social media. Combined, these points offer new opportunities for civic organizations and governments to focus on social media as a way to increase engagement.