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Majority of Latinas feel cross-cultural pressures, new report finds

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, 63% of Latinas say they are under pressure to succeed in the workplace and help support their family.

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(Photo illustration by Diana Ramirez / De Los; photos by Olenka Bohovyk / Getty Images)
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Latinas living in the U.S. have a lot on their plate.

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center published Tuesday, 63% of Latinas say they are under pressure to succeed in the workplace and help support their family; 62% feel the need to be beautiful; 68% feel responsible for household chores; and 56% are pressured to get married and start their own family.

In 2022, the average wealth of white families was approximately $1.36 million. It was $227,544 for Latino families and $211,596 for Black families. For Asian American households, the average wealth was $1.8 million.

April 30, 2024

This data comes from Pew’s bilingual National Survey of Latinos, in which 5,078 Latino adults were polled. The report aims to better understand Latinas’ life experiences in U.S. society, where they make up 17% of the population.

Focusing on their stressors and joys, Pew Research concludes that Latinas are expected to live up to standards held across several cultures.

“There is this duality with what they face in their lives. Of course, many Latinas have immigrant connections, whether they are the child of an immigrant or an immigrant themselves. They have to live in this cross-cultural reality,” said Luis Noe-Bustamante, a Pew Research associate who helped compile the report.

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Seventy-seven percent of adult Latinas have ties to immigration, with 52% being immigrants themselves and 25% having at least one immigrant parent. They are affected by the cultural expectations from their family’s country of origin and from the United States.

“The whole purpose of our families immigrating is so that the next generation can have opportunities that were not available in our countries of origin,” said Rebeca Melendez, program director of the East Los Angeles Women’s Center, a nonprofit that emphasizes outreach to the Latino community and provides a safe space for women through their varying health and housing services.

Gisselle Palomera left their religion at 15, causing a rift in the relationship with their mother. Now at 26-years-old, they are finding new ways to improve their communication.

April 30, 2024

“We see the sacrifices our parents have made for us. Our desire to make them proud is inherent,” Melendez said.

Even with these multicultural expectations, 88% of Latinas say they are at least somewhat satisfied with their family life. Regardless of age, immigration status or political party, the population remains positive on the topic of joy.

“Most Latinas say they are happy and they rate their family satisfaction really high as well,” Noe-Bustamante said. “When we asked them what brings them joy, most say that sharing time with family and friends is something that brings them joy. It was at the top of the list.”

Under spending time with family (56%) is their social life (36%), then the quality of life in their local community (34%) and lastly, their financial situation (21%). Despite how much pressure surrounds a Latina and her family life, they are more likely to be satisfied with their quality of life.

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“As families, we are so connected,” Melendez said. “We share our success and become a source of joy. If we make our family members feel like all of the sacrifices they made for us fulfills them, then that is what makes us happy.”

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