By Kyla Calvert Mason of Wisconsin Public Radio
The Milwaukee metro area’s Latino population more than tripled between the years 1990 and 2014, according to a study funded by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
Nearly 73 percent of Milwaukee-area Latinos are native-born U.S. citizens, a higher portion than in most of the country’s largest cities. As the Latino population has grown through in-migration and births, the region’s white population stagnated.
The community’s growth accounted for the vast majority of the region’s population grown since 1990 and increases in the area’s school district enrollment, according to the study.
The study also found Milwaukee has one of the largest cultural generation gaps of any large U.S. city. More than 85 percent of the region’s residents who are over the age of 65 are white while 51 percent of children younger than 5 are non-white.
Ricardo Diaz said he seeings bridging that gap as part of Milwaukee’s United Community Center, where he is executive director. He said the organization worked to bring the region’s residents together through arts and events and hopes those efforts will lead to others seeing the growing Latino community for what it is.
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