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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wash U, SLU, and UMSTL Combine Forces To Study St. Louis Latino Population

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Missouri's Hispanic population has exploded since this picture was taken in 1941 - LIBRARY OF CONGRESS VIA FLICKR
  • Library of Congress via Flickr
  • Missouri's Hispanic population has exploded since this picture was taken in 1941
There's nothing like a little cooperación to help the city's three main universities research the Missouri's burgeoning Latino population.

Washington University, the University of Missouri St. Louis and Saint Louis University are pooling their resources and academic talent to form the St. Louis Coalition for Latino Research.

According to a report in the St. Louis Beacon, the coalition will study the systemic problems that affect the area's non-native Spanish-speakers.

The Beacon report notes that Latinos are the fastest growing demographic in Missouri and St. Louis.

The most recent Census figures found that 58,000 Hispanics live in St. Louis, but other surveys that count undocumented residents estimate the total to be closer to 90,000. Missouri, meanwhile, is said to be home to more than 170,000 Latinos.

More details on what aspects of Latino life and culture the local brain trust is hoping to better understand after the jump. 

Reports the Beacon:
"Part of what we're trying to address is a demographic transition that's taking place nationwide and specifically in Missouri, where Latinos are the fastest-growing population," [SLU professor] Onesimo Sandoval said. "We can pinpoint that the metropolitan region of St. Louis is one of these regions where we will see a tremendous demographic transition over the next 10-20 years."

Sandoval is collecting demographic information about Latinos throughout the Midwest, and he hopes to create indices of where people live and where the most vulnerable, high-poverty pockets of Latinos are located.
Other potential research topics include school assimilation programs, increased diabetes and obesity and the psychological impact on Latino children from being separated from parents because of immigration issues.

The article also states that the only other regionally-based collaboration of this kind in the United States is based in Boston. Read the whole piece by clicking here.

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