2022

Researchers find Latino community hit hard by COVID, yet continues to contribute to U.S. economic growth


Research co-authored by Dr. David Hayes-Bautista and Dr. Paul Hsu focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latinos.

In spite of being hit harder by COVID-19 than almost any other population in the U.S., Latinos pressed through the pandemic to produce the world’s fifth-largest GDP during 2020, according to research co-authored by Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, and Dr. Paul Hsu, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health assistant professor of epidemiology.

The team, which includes researchers from UCLA and California Lutheran University, found that by December 2020, the age adjusted death rate for Latinos from COVID-19 was more than half again higher than the rate for non-Hispanic whites.

“Literally coming out of nowhere, COVID-19 hit Latinos so hard that, by the end of 2020, it was the number one cause of death for them,” said Hsu, who is also affiliated with the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture (CESLAC), “with a death rate that was 57% higher than for non-Hispanic whites.”

Nonetheless, Latinos pressed through the pandemic, continued to be economically active essential workers, and by the end of 2020, had produced the world’s fifth-largest GDP, rising from number eight the year before.

“A dominant narrative has emerged that the pandemic should have been a perfect storm for Latinos, deal[ing] a devastating blow to this historically productive demographic group," said Dr. Matthew Fienup, executive director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF) at California Lutheran University and a co-author of the analysis, "The 2022 LDC Latino GDP Report."

From 2005 to 2019, Latino labor force participation—a key driver of GDP production—was higher than that of non-Latinos. In 2020, Latino labor force participation continued to be much higher than that of non-Latinos. Due to a combination of lockdowns and business closures, the brutal months of March and April drove all labor force participation down, but Latino labor force participation recovered quickly, while non-Latinos showed a more anemic recovery.

“Labor force participation, for both groups, was rocked by subsequent waves of COVID-19 transmission,” said Fienup, adding that, after each of these waves, Latinos were “returning to work with urgency.”

Another key driver of the Latino GDP has been the healthy Latino lifestyle, which reduces Latino mortality for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke by nearly 30%, compared to non-Hispanic white mortality. But communicable diseases such as COVID-19 are transmitted from person to person by breathing or touching, irrespective of lifestyle.

“Since 1940, Latinos have pressed through adversity: wars, recessions, and civil upheavals," said Hayes-Bautista, distinguished professor of medicine at UCLA and Director of CESLAC. "Being able to move the Latino GDP up to the number five position is one more example of how essential Latinos have become to U.S economic growth, for the foreseeable future.”

Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
David Hayes-Bautista
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Paul Hsu
Paul Hsu
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Annette Maxwell
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Kelika Konda
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Roshan Bastani Headshot
Roshan Bastani
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Lillian Gelberg
Lillian Gelberg
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Akihiro Nishi Headshot
Akihiro Nishi
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Burt Cowgill
Burt Cowgill
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Julie A. Elginer

EMPH Academic Program Director with expertise in healthcare marketing, finance, and reproductive health policy, teaching in the EMPH, MPH, MHA program

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Liwei Chen
Liwei Chen

Professor in Epidemiology

Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Yusuke Tsugawa
Yusuke Tsugawa
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Pamina Gorbach
Pamina Gorbach
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Marissa J. Seamans
Marissa Seamans
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Su Yong Jung
Su Yon Jung
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Onyebuchi Arah headshot
Onyebuchi A. Arah
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Timothy Brewer
Timothy Brewer
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Aria Fallah
Aria Fallah
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Headshot
Christie Jeon
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
sheena sullivan photo
Sheena G. Sullivan
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Aziz, Najib headshot_2023
Najib Aziz
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Elizabeth Rose Mayeda photo
Elizabeth Rose Mayeda
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Hashibe, Mia
Mia Hashibe
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Tony Kuo
Tony Kuo
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Ron Andersen

Dr. Ron Andersen is the Wasserman Professor Emeritus in the UCLA Departments of Health Policy and Management.

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Beate Ritz
Beate Ritz
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Jian Li
Jian Li
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
James Macinko
James Macinko

Professor of Community Health Sciences & Health Policy and Management, and Associate Dean for Research

Community Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Shira Shafir
Shira Shafir
Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Thomas Rice
Thomas Rice
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Peter Katona
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Daniel Eisenberg
Daniel Eisenberg
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Patricia Ganz
Patricia Ganz
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Arturo Vargas Bustamante
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Anne Rimoin
Anne Rimoin
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Mangione, C
Carol Mangione
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Alexandra Binder Headshot
Alexandra Binder
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Michelle Keller
Michelle S. Keller

Dr. Michelle S. Keller is a health services researcher whose research focuses on the use and prescribing of high-risk medications.

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. John Lu
Z. John Lu
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Yvonne Flores
Yvonne Flores
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Annette Regan
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Jeanne Miranda
Jeanne Miranda
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Robert Kim-Farley
Robert J. Kim-Farley

Robert J. Kim-Farley, MD, MPH, is a Professor-in-Residence with joint appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Community Health Sciences

Community Health Sciences Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Jody Heymann
Jody Heymann
Epidemiology Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Roch Nianogo
Roch A. Nianogo
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Stephanie Taylor
Stephanie L. Taylor

Nationally recognized health services researcher and sociomedical scientist with 25+ years' experience in effectiveness and implementation research.

Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Marjan Javanbakht
Marjan Javanbakht
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Catherine Carpenter
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Michael Ong
Michael Ong
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Leah Vriesman
Leah Vriesman
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Leeka I. Kheifets
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Vickie Mays
Vickie Mays
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Naomi Greene
Naomi Greene
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Steven Teutsch
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Dvora Joseph Davey
Dvora Joseph Davey

Dr. Joseph Davey is an infectious disease epidemiologist with over 20 years' experience leading research on HIV/STI services for women and children.

Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Sung-Jae Lee
Sung-Jae Lee
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Ralph R. Frerichs, 12/25/21
Ralph R. Frerichs
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Roger Detels
Roger Detels
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Gerald Kominski
Gerald Kominski
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Arlene Fink
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Joann Elmore
Joann G. Elmore
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Matthew Mimiaga
Matthew J. Mimiaga
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Faculty/staff profile placeholder image
Jørn Olsen
Epidemiology
Read Faculty Profile
Dr. Naomi Zewde
Naomi Zewde
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile
Corrina Moucheraud
Corrina Moucheraud
Health Policy and Management
Read Faculty Profile