Posted on March 21, 2013

A study by Brown University found that there is a growing diversity among Hispanics in the United States, marked by peculiar differences. (Shutterstock photo)

Latinos are showing a growing diversity in the U.S. marked by class and regional differences, according to a new Brown University study that underscores increasing factionalization among Hispanic groups.

Those differences are making Latinos a more difficult bloc to generalize for both politicians and marketers, researchers John Logan and Richard Turner conclude in the study “Hispanics in America: Not Only Mexicans.”

“How would a political party reach out to Hispanics?” said Logan, a professor of sociology at Brown University. “How will marketers? I think there’s a little bit of a fallacy here to think that Hispanics are a single group.”

Among the major findings are not only the growing diversity in groups, but that Latinos in other metropolitan areas are more likely than in Southern California to live in integrated neighborhoods.

They found that to be the case nationally among U.S. Latinos who are Cuban, Central Americans and Mexican.

That is especially true, they found, in the Los Angeles area that continues to lead the country in residents of Mexican and Central American origin, although those ethnic groups have increased their numbers in other parts of the U.S.

Logan and Turner used census data to track Latino populations from 1990 to 2010, as well as what kind of residential neighborhoods in which they lived.

In 2010, they found, Los Angeles-area Hispanics of Mexican origin lived in a neighborhood that was 18 percent white, compared to a national metropolitan average of 35 percent white.

Los Angeles-area Central Americans also lived in a predominantly Latino neighborhoods with about 16 percent white residents.

According to Logan and Turner, only New York showed a similar degree of ethnic isolation among Latinos.

“It’s a good thing to the extent it means that Hispanics are finding livable communities where they can forge strong networks with other people from the same background,” said Logan.

“But to the extent that they are living in areas with poorer schools and less chance for jobs and mobility, it can suggest some real future problems for the region.”

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