Cal Lutheran News
News and Features

Latinos fuel L.A. metro economy, study finds

CERF to co-release first-ever report on region’s Latino GDP

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — September 6, 2022) Latinos in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan region are making significant and rapidly growing contributions to the economy, according to a first-of-its-kind report by researchers from California Lutheran University and UCLA. The region’s Latino gross domestic product, or economic output, was $284.5 billion in 2018, the researchers found, larger than the entire economy of states like Oregon or Louisiana.

Matthew Fienup, PhD
Matthew Fienup, PhD

The full 2022 Los Angeles Metro Latino GDP Report will be officially revealed on Thursday, Sept. 8, during the L’Attitude Los Angeles Business Summit at The Belasco Theater in L.A.

The study, which covers the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim metropolitan statistical area (MSA), is co-authored by the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at Cal Lutheran and the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC) at UCLA, and funded by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. In 2018, the Los Angeles metro area had a Latino population of 6 million, making L.A. the single largest MSA in the U.S. by Latino population.

The report provides a look at the total economic contribution of Hispanics-Latinos in 2018, the most recent year the core data were available. The report includes GDP calculations by industry, as well as detailed analysis of age distribution, educational attainment, labor force participation, income growth, household formation and homeownership.

“Latinos are drivers of growth for the Los Angeles metro area economy and an important source of economic strength and resiliency,” said Matthew Fienup, PhD, executive director of CERF and one of the report’s co-authors. “Despite being only 45 percent of the population, Latinos are responsible for more than 80 percent of the growth of the Los Angeles metro area’s labor force.”

According to the report, the largest component of the Los Angeles metro area’s Latino GDP is personal consumption, totaling $200.3 billion in 2018. The top five Latino GDP sectors are finance and real estate ($43.6 billion), government services ($31.8 billion), professional and business services ($27 billion), education and healthcare ($21.5 billion), and durables manufacturing ($21.4 billion).

Latino economic success is driven by several factors: Latinos have a strong work ethic and are more likely than non-Latinos to be actively working; the number of Latinos earning college degrees is growing faster than non-Latinos; and Latinos have longer life expectancy.

Over the past three months, CERF has released six other reports documenting the economic contributions of Latinos living in select metropolitan areas of the United States: Chicago, Dallas, the Inland Empire, Miami, Newark and New York City. Each report was released as the centerpiece of a business summit hosted by Bank of America featuring leaders in business, entertainment and politics. CERF also publishes reports on Latino GDP for the overall U.S. and select individual states.

To download the full 2022 Los Angeles Metro Latino GDP Report, please visit For information about CERF, visit For information about CESLAC, visit