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Hispanic people experiencing largest homeownership gains in America
At 18 percent of the population, Hispanics account for 67.2 percent of U.S. net homeownership gains.
- After a 50-year low, Hispanics have seen the largest homeownership gains for any ethnic demographic.
- The uptick likely results from a bevy of gains Hispanics have seen in recent years.
- This rise in homeownership is part of an increasingly diverse United States.
Homeownership is seen as a keystone to the American Dream. The two have become so entwined that President George W. Bush proclaimed June National Home Ownership Month to help "more Americans achieve that dream." His proclamation further stated that homeownership helped families prosper, improved community stability, and promoted civic engagement.
"My Administration is working to provide all families with the tools and information they need to accumulate wealth and overcome barriers to homeownership," then-President Bush wrote. In hindsight, they're words best read with historic side-eye given how the excesses of the home-lending industry brought on the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
Recovery has been long and slow, and some communities are still clawing their way out. But since 2015, Hispanics have seen historic gains in homeownership, gains that have helped prop up a still shaky market.
Hispanic homeownership on the rise
Hispanic and Latinx protesters rally against home foreclosures during the Great Recession. Millions of homes were foreclosed upon each year, and minority groups were hit especially hard. Photo credit: Jacob Ruff / Flickr
Citing U.S. Census Bureau data, the Wall Street Journal reported that the rate of homeownership among Hispanics* has increased more than any other ethnic group. The rate has risen 3.3 percent since 2015, a bounce back from a 50-year low in 2015, and last year marked the largest homeownership gains for Hispanics since 2005.
While Hispanics make up roughly 18 percent of the U.S. population, they accounted for 62.7 percent of net homeownership gains, as noted by a National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals' (NAHREP) 2018 report. They are also the only ethnic group to raise their rates of homeownership for the fourth consecutive year, and should this rate of increase continue, they will account for 56 percent of all new homeowners by 2030.
The result is a boost "that could help buoy the market for years," an incredible comeback when you consider how devastating the Great Recession proved to minority groups.
"The housing market would look very different today if it weren't for a tidal wave of Latino home buyers," Gary Acosta, co-founder and chief executive of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, told the Journal.
Recent years have seen Hispanics make other social and economic gains, as well. They are responsible for 81 percent of the U.S. labor force growth over the last decade, a time of economic expansion. Their median household income has seen the largest increase among all racial and ethnic demographics. And more Hispanics are earning diplomas and degrees than in the late '90s.
What are the reasons for these gains?
A good guess would be all of the above. The Wall Street Journal article cites education, income gains, and a growing familiarly with the U.S. mortgage system as the drivers of Hispanic homeownership. Jerry Brown, CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, argues for similar reasons:
"We've been studying it a little bit and what we think we see is, like a lot of Caucasian America, Hispanic income has risen significantly since the recession. Also, we see an increase in education levels among Hispanics. And thirdly, for some of the newly arriving Hispanics, they are used to paying cash for big purchases — that helps them avoid the complexities of the mortgage system."
Sadly, the windfall hasn't been even across the demographic board. African-American homeownership has dropped to an all-time low, falling 8.6 percent since its 2004 height. Potential explanations include a difficult recovery after the housing crisis and America's legacy of housing segregation.
Millennials are also less likely to own homes, despite many ultimately desiring to. This is thanks in part to student debt, income-devouring rents, and less median income than previous generations enjoyed at the same age.
America's shifting demographics
Another reason for these historic gains is ongoing demographic change. In short, America is, and will continue to become, more diverse than it was in previous generations. As we mentioned, Hispanics make up 18 percent of the U.S. population but half of U.S. population growth over the last decade.
At the same time, the population of Americans who identify as non-Hispanic white has been falling. In Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada, non-Hispanic whites make up less than 50 percent of the population.
Dudley Poston, professor of sociology at Texas A&M University, and Rogelio Sáenz, professor of demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio, crunched the numbers and found that an "aging white population, alongside a more youthful minority population, especially in the case of Latinos, will result in the U.S. becoming a majority-minority country in around 2044."
With America's demographics shifting over the next decades, no doubt people who identify as Hispanic will continue making these historic strides.
* We're use "Hispanic" over Latino, Latina, or Latinx as it is the term used in NAHREP's 2018 State of Hispanic Home Ownership Report, a major source of data for this article.
Innovation in manufacturing has crawled since the 1950s. That's about to speed up.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
So far, 30 student teams have entered the Indy Autonomous Challenge, scheduled for October 2021.
- The Indy Autonomous Challenge will task student teams with developing self-driving software for race cars.
- The competition requires cars to complete 20 laps within 25 minutes, meaning cars would need to average about 110 mph.
- The organizers say they hope to advance the field of driverless cars and "inspire the next generation of STEM talent."
Indy Autonomous Challenge<p>Completing the race in 25 minutes means the cars will need to average about 110 miles per hour. So, while the race may end up being a bit slower than a typical Indy 500 competition, in which winners average speeds of over 160 mph, it's still set to be the fastest autonomous race featuring full-size cars.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"There is no human redundancy there," Matt Peak, managing director for Energy Systems Network, a nonprofit that develops technology for the automation and energy sectors, told the <a href="https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2020/06/01/Indy-Autonomous-Challenge-Indy-500-Indianapolis-Motor-Speedway-Ansys-Aptiv-self-driving-cars/stories/202005280137" target="_blank">Pittsburgh Post-Gazette</a>. "Either your car makes this happen or smash into the wall you go."</p>
Illustration of the Indy Autonomous Challenge
Indy Autonomous Challenge<p>The Indy Autonomous Challenge <a href="https://www.indyautonomouschallenge.com/rules" target="_blank">describes</a> itself as a "past-the-post" competition, which "refers to a binary, objective, measurable performance rather than a subjective evaluation, judgement, or recognition."</p><p>This competition design was inspired by the 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge, which tasked teams with developing driverless cars and sending them along a 150-mile route in Southern California for a chance to win $1 million. But that prize went unclaimed, because within a few hours after starting, all the vehicles had suffered some kind of critical failure.</p>
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indy Autonomous Challenge<p>One factor that could prevent a similar outcome in the upcoming race is the ability to test-run cars on a virtual racetrack. The simulation software company Ansys Inc. has already developed a model of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on which teams will test their algorithms as part of a series of qualifying rounds.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"We can create, with physics, multiple real-life scenarios that are reflective of the real world," Ansys President Ajei Gopal told <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/autonomous-vehicles-to-race-at-indianapolis-motor-speedway-11595237401?mod=e2tw" target="_blank">The Wall Street Journal</a>. "We can use that to train the AI, so it starts to come up to speed."</p><p>Still, the race could reveal that self-driving cars aren't quite ready to race at speeds of over 110 mph. After all, regular self-driving cars already face enough logistical and technical roadblocks, including <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53349313#:~:text=Tesla%20will%20be%20able%20to,no%20driver%20input%2C%20he%20said." target="_blank">crumbling infrastructure, communication issues</a> and the <a href="https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/would-you-ride-in-a-car-thats-programmed-to-kill-you" target="_self">fateful moral decisions driverless cars will have to make in split seconds</a>.</p>But the Indy Autonomous Challenge <a href="https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5da73021d0636f4ec706fa0a/t/5dc0680c41954d4ef41ec2b2/1572890638793/Indy+Autonomous+Challenge+Ruleset+-+v5NOV2019+%282%29.pdf" target="_blank">says</a> its main goal is to advance the industry, by challenging "students around the world to imagine, invent, and prove a new generation of automated vehicle (AV) software and inspire the next generation of STEM talent."
A new Harvard study finds that the language you use affects patient outcome.
- A study at Harvard's McLean Hospital claims that using the language of chemical imbalances worsens patient outcomes.
- Though psychiatry has largely abandoned DSM categories, professor Joseph E Davis writes that the field continues to strive for a "brain-based diagnostic system."
- Chemical explanations of mental health appear to benefit pharmaceutical companies far more than patients.
Challenging the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Mental Disorders: Robert Whitaker, Journalist<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="41699c8c2cb2aee9271a36646e0bee7d"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-8BDC7i8Yyw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>This is a far cry from Howard Rusk's 1947 NY Times editorial calling for mental healt</p><p>h disorders to be treated similarly to physical disease (such as diabetes and cancer). This mindset—not attributable to Rusk alone; he was merely relaying the psychiatric currency of the time—has dominated the field for decades: mental anguish is a genetic and/or chemical-deficiency disorder that must be treated pharmacologically.</p><p>Even as psychiatry untethered from DSM categories, the field still used chemistry to validate its existence. Psychotherapy, arguably the most efficient means for managing much of our anxiety and depression, is time- and labor-intensive. Counseling requires an empathetic and wizened ear to guide the patient to do the work. Ingesting a pill to do that work for you is more seductive, and easier. As Davis writes, even though the industry abandoned the DSM, it continues to strive for a "brain-based diagnostic system." </p><p>That language has infiltrated public consciousness. The team at McLean surveyed 279 patients seeking acute treatment for depression. As they note, the causes of psychological distress have constantly shifted over the millennia: humoral imbalance in the ancient world; spiritual possession in medieval times; early childhood experiences around the time of Freud; maladaptive thought patterns dominant in the latter half of last century. While the team found that psychosocial explanations remain popular, biogenetic explanations (such as the chemical imbalance theory) are becoming more prominent. </p><p>Interestingly, the 80 people Davis interviewed for his book predominantly relied on biogenetic explanations. Instead of doctors diagnosing patients, as you might expect, they increasingly serve to confirm what patients come in suspecting. Patients arrive at medical offices confident in their self-diagnoses. They believe a pill is the best course of treatment, largely because they saw an advertisement or listened to a friend. Doctors too often oblige without further curiosity as to the reasons for their distress. </p>
Image: Illustration Forest / Shutterstock<p>While medicalizing mental health softens the stigma of depression—if a disorder is inheritable, it was never really your fault—it also disempowers the patient. The team at McLean writes,</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"More recent studies indicate that participants who are told that their depression is caused by a chemical imbalance or genetic abnormality expect to have depression for a longer period, report more depressive symptoms, and feel they have less control over their negative emotions."</p><p>Davis points out the language used by direct-to-consumer advertising prevalent in America. Doctors, media, and advertising agencies converge around common messages, such as everyday blues is a "real medical condition," everyone is susceptible to clinical depression, and drugs correct underlying somatic conditions that you never consciously control. He continues,</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Your inner life and evaluative stance are of marginal, if any, relevance; counseling or psychotherapy aimed at self-insight would serve little purpose." </p><p>The McLean team discovered a similar phenomenon: patients expect little from psychotherapy and a lot from pills. When depression is treated as the result of an internal and immutable essence instead of environmental conditions, behavioral changes are not expected to make much difference. Chemistry rules the popular imagination.</p>