The Impact of Latino Millennials on South Florida's Economy

It’s no surprise that Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States. This translates to a major voting bloc and a strong economy. Now, Latino millennials are playing a significant role in their own way.

Florida is home to the third largest Hispanic population in the United States. As a result, Hispanics are key to the growth of the state and especially South Florida.

“Hispanic businesses represent a significant portion of the business of the state of Florida. But it’s even more concentrated here in South Florida. Of all the Hispanic businesses in all of Florida, roughly 70% are here in South Florida,” said Michael Finney of the Beacon Council, an economic development organization for Miami-Dade County.

That segment of the population is key to the local economy.

“The employment numbers here in Miami-Dade are very strong. They continue to be strong and it’s a growing population and it’s led by the outstanding companies,” said Finney. “We have a very strong technology base here, we have food and beverage, especially for some of the millennials.”

Speaking of millennials, the amount of Hispanic owned businesses continue to grow. But does this new generation follow the roadmap to success of their predecessors?

“The millennials have an expectation that not only will they be successful in business, but they also want to enjoy all that Florida and Miami has to offer,” said Finney.

But does that expectation of success translate into the voting booth? It’s a known fact that the midterms will be key in Miami, and that Cuban Americans in South Florida carry a lot of voting power.

“There’s a few groups across U.S. history that have had that kind of an impact, both at the local level, nationally and even internationally,” said Eduardo Gamarra, PhD, a professor at Florida International University. “Generations do matter. One of the most important trends that we’ve seen, especially among Hispanics, is that Hispanics register as non-party affiliate.”

In Miami-Dade County, there are 41% registered Democrats, 26% Republicans and 31% of voters are non-party affiliate.

Gammara says, of the NPA’s, the majority are Hispanic and young.

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