As Hispanics go, so goes America. Believe it or not. Like it or not.

Hispanics are integral to the present and future success of America. This is a core societal issue. For America to continue prospering, Hispanics must prosper. The fate of America is inextricably intertwined with the fate of the Hispanic community.

As Hispanics go, so goes America. Why? Hispanics are already an important part of the U.S. population and economy. The 2010 Census results showed that we already total over 50.5 million people (plus 3.6 million in Puerto Rico). We already have purchasing power of over $1.1 trillion. Nearly 1.6 million Hispanic households have $100,000 or more in household income. Eight in 10 Hispanic adults speak English.

As Hispanics go, so goes America. Why? Hispanics are a big growth engine for America. Based on analyses by the market intelligence firm Geoscape, Hispanics have accounted for over half of U.S. population growth over the past decade and currently account for nearly half of consumer spending growth. The projected lifetime spend of a Hispanic household is higher than both Anglo households and African-American households. Our children are our future, and Hispanic children comprise almost one-quarter (and growing) of all American children.

As Hispanics go, so goes America. Why? Hispanics have a significant and growing influence on politics and culture. More than 9.7 million Hispanics voted in the 2008 presidential election. Media, sports, and entertainment personalities like Soledad O’Brien, Alex Rodríguez, and Jennifer Lopez have become household names. And speaking of culture, Americans eat more tortillas than bread and more salsa than ketchup.

As Hispanics go, goes America. Why? Hispanics will play an even more compelling role in America’s future. According to Pew Research projections, 60 million of the next 100 million new Americans added to the U.S. population will be Hispanic. America will become a “majority minority” country. The number of Hispanics will nearly double from one in six Americans to around three in 10. Hispanics will comprise an increasingly critical component of the workforce upon which America depends, especially since the number of U.S. retirees overall will nearly double.

Although it is the exception rather than the rule, there are those who seem to be in denial of the fact that Hispanics are integral to the fabric of America. There are those who seem to fixate on negative and grossly inaccurate stereotypes, many of which are related to immigration. Immigration is, always has been, and will continue to be, the lifeblood of America.

Yes, our broken immigration system must be fixed. But regardless of the level of immigration, the Hispanic population will continue to grow more than any other group. As a country, maybe we’d be better off devoting as much attention to Hispanic educational attainment as we do to fighting about our broken immigration system.

Whether people view the Hispanic phenomenon positively or negatively is beside the point. Hispanics are central to America’s future. To continue as the world’s leading economy and remain globally competitive, America needs Hispanics to contribute to our fullest potential and to serve in the leadership of all sectors of society. To foster increasing Hispanic success so that America will continue to succeed is imperative for America because... as Hispanics go, so goes America.

Pablo Schneider is president of Corporate Creations International. He is also a public speaker and serves as a contributor to several national publications.

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