The Top 25 U.S. Cities Where Latinas Are Finding Financial Success

By  
  |  

Race and gender bias are a reality for Latinas across the United States. While the wealth gap is widespread, some cities create a better environment for Latinas’ economic growth than others.

Using data from the U.S. Census Department’s American Community Survey, MoneyGeek conducted a study to identify locations that offer Latinas the most opportunities for financial success — as well as those that fall short.

Key Findings
  • This is an icon

    Race and gender inequality create a double disadvantage for Latinas in the United States.

    This results in lower wages, limited job opportunities and higher levels of poverty for Latinas than white men.

  • This is an icon

    Social and economic policy are crucial to reducing the wealth gap for U.S. Latinas.

    Cities where Latinas can establish the foundations of economic stability — like gainful employment, education and homeownership — tend to rank higher for Latina financial success.

  • This is an icon

    Cultural barriers influence Latinas’ financial success.

    Lack of financial literacy, traditional gender roles and discrimination create more significant economic disparities for Latinas.

The Places Where Latinas Are (And Aren’t) Flourishing Financially

Top Cities For Latinas badge

To find where Latinas are doing best financially, MoneyGeek analyzed data from the U.S. Census Department’s American Community Survey. The analysis considers education, poverty, income and homeownership as key factors to financial success. Taking social welfare into account, we also included measures of access to healthcare and transportation, as well as cost of living and Latino business ownership.

Using data from over 400 cities with a population size over 65,000, this study also calculated Latina Equal Pay for every city in the data set.

Cities Where Latinas Are Most Economically Successful

Known for its quality of life, Gilbert, AZ ranked as the number one city for Latinas to thrive. According to Data USA, the Latino community is the second-largest ethnic group in this city, and Latinas represent 26.4% of Gilbert’s university graduates. With a high median income and decreasing poverty rates, it’s no surprise this booming city is an excellent place for Latinas to advance.

Close behind Gilbert is Washington, DC, where 92% of the Latina population counts with health insurance and access to public transportation.

Up next is Torrance, CA — Latinas in this medium-sized city have the highest adjusted income in the country. Common trends among the top-ranked cities include gainful employment and higher levels of education.

The Top 25 Cities Where Latinas Are Doing Well Financially

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • City
    Final Score
  • 1.
    Gilbert, AZ
    100.0
  • 2.
    Washington, DC
    99.8
  • 3.
    Torrance, CA
    99.3
  • 4.
    Seattle, WA
    97.0
  • 5.
    Tempe, AZ
    93.3
  • 6.
    Berkeley, CA
    92.4
  • 7.
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    91.3
  • 8.
    Burbank, CA
    90.6
  • 9.
    Henderson, NV
    89.7
  • 10.
    Arlington, VA
    89.6

Cities Where Latinas Struggle Financially

Unlike cities with high education rates and significant Latino populations, the places where Latinas struggle have lower income levels. In Grand Rapids, MI, the local Equal Pay Day for Latinas is 11/9/2021 — almost eight months after Torrance’s date of 3/25/2021.

Places like Worcester, MA, are in line with state-wide statistics. According to a report from the Gastón Institute, Massachusetts is the state with the most significant economic gaps between Latinos and non-Latino whites. Data also indicates that the cities where Latinas struggle most have lower education levels, higher cost of crime per capita and few Latino-owned businesses.

The 15 Cities Where Latinas Economically Struggle the Most

Scroll for more

swipe icon
  • City
    Final Score
  • 1.
    Grand Rapids, MI
    60.97
  • 2.
    Richmond, CA
    61.12
  • 3.
    Buffalo, NY
    62.62
  • 4.
    Worcester, MA
    63.89
  • 5.
    South Gate, CA
    64.09
  • 6.
    Westminster, CA
    64.30
  • 7.
    Oklahoma City, OK
    65.22
  • 8.
    Escondido, CA
    65.63
  • 9.
    Des Moines, IA
    65.66
  • 10.
    Hillsboro, OR
    65.94

Economic Realities Latinas Face

Latinas represent more than 12 million of the workers in the United States and contribute $4.2 billion to the country’s GDP. They are expected to make up one-third of the United States’ female population by 2060 but only make $0.55 for every dollar that a white male earns. This makes it increasingly difficult for Latinas to turn income into wealth and creates a retirement crisis for this group of women.

Job loss vulnerability, higher unemployment rates and significant wage gaps put Latinas in a precarious financial position. As the Economic Policy Institute points out, this is especially true for single parents who have less money in savings and spend more than 30% of their income on rent. And with limited financial literacy, many Latinas are unable to overcome their economic challenges.

Undocumented Latinas experience additional challenges — they tend to earn lower wages and face the constant threat of deportation. Their immigration status prevents them from participating in the banking system or using credit cards. With no access to healthcare, the burden of aging migrant parents often falls on their U.S.-born children and makes financial growth even more challenging for Latinos as a whole.

Expert Insights

Lack of infrastructure, access to healthcare and a supportive financial foundation are some of the common challenges that affect Latina’s economic success. Our panel of experts shares valuable insights and their own perspectives on the subject.

  1. If policies were enacted to help Latinas achieve more economically, what might they be? What might the positive and negative impacts be?
  2. What resources would you recommend to Latinas trying to find a city where they can succeed financially?
  3. What do you think are some of the unique challenges that affect Latinas’ ability to achieve economic success?
  4. What defines economic success for Latinas?
  5. What are steps Latinas can take to close their own personal gap?
  6. How does immigration status affect financial growth for Latinas?
Paul Ortiz
Paul Ortiz

Professor, Author

Deyanira Nevarez Martinez
Deyanira Nevarez Martinez

Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Michigan State University

Glenda M. Flores
Glenda M. Flores

Associate Professor, Chicano/Latino Studies at UCI

Belinda Román
Belinda Román

Assistant Professor of Economics at St. Mary's University

Financially Advocating for Yourself as a Latina

As an underserved community, it’s important for Latinas to create more opportunities for themselves. The following tips can help Latinas leverage their resources and take a strategic approach toward their financial growth:

1

Negotiate a fair salary

Don’t be afraid to ask for that raise you deserve. By creating a step-by-step plan for salary negotiation, you’ll feel more confident leveraging your skills and securing a bigger paycheck.

2

Focus on your financial education

Managing your money is the first step toward economic success. Building credit can be an important part of this journey. Follow these Latina finance influencers to learn more about financial tools and reach your financial goals.

3

Make homeownership a priority

By learning more about real estate and mortgages, you can make homeownership a reality and use this asset to boost your financial situation.

4

Invest in assets that create generational wealth

Spend your money wisely. Avoiding debt and planning for retirement are the first steps toward a better financial future.

Methodology

To rank the cities where Latinas are doing best financially, MoneyGeek analyzed data from the American Community Survey, MoneyGeek’s Safest Cities and Safest Small Cities and Towns studies and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. MoneyGeek started with over 600 places in America with populations of 65,000 or more. Places without granular data about Latinas or lacking other data points for the analysis were removed to get to the final set of 143 cities.

The ranking was based on eight factors: safety, Hispanic population, educational attainment, poverty rates, income, employment, health insurance and homeownership. Each factor was weighted equally. Each factor in the study was scaled to a score between 0 and 1. The factors were calculated as follows:

Safety (half weight): Safety was based on the per capita cost of crime calculated in MoneyGeek’s Safest Cities series. The cost of crime was logged to adjust the distribution.

Hispanic Population (full weight): Representing an available community of Hispanic individuals, communities with Hispanic populations either below 30,000 or representing less than 10% of the city’s population, the city was removed from the analysis.

Educational Attainment (double weight): This metric equally comprises two metrics.

  • High School Diploma Gap (50%): The difference in percentage points of the rate of Hispanic high school diploma achievement compared to the national rate of white high school diploma achievement.

  • Higher Education Diploma Gap (50%): The difference in percentage points of the rate of Hispanic bachelor degree or greater educational attainment compared to the national rate of white bachelor degree or greater educational attainment.

Poverty Rate (double weight): The percentage point difference of the city’s rate of Latinas earning at or above the poverty level and the rate of all other women living above the poverty level nationally.

Income (double weight): This factor equally comprises two metrics.

  • Local Income Gap (25%): The ratio of Hispanic female median income as a percentage of the local median income of white males.
  • National Income Gap (75%): The ratio of Hispanic female median income adjusted for purchasing power as a percentage of the national median income of white males.

Employment (full weight): The difference in percentage points between the Hispanic female employment rate and the white male employment rate in the locality.

Health Insurance (full weight): The difference in percentage points between the rate of Latinas ages 18–64 that have health insurance and the rate of health insurance for all other races nationally.

Latina Homeownership (double weight): This factor comprises three metrics.

  • Local Owner-Occupied Gap (25%): The difference between the Hispanic household owner occupation rate and the owner occupation rate of all other races in the locality.
  • National Owner-Occupied Gap (25%): The difference between the Hispanic household owner occupation rate in the locality and the owner occupation rate of all other races nationally.
  • Latina Income to Home Value (50%): The ratio of Latina median income to local median home value.

Transportation (full weight): This factor is the percentage of workers that take public transportation.

Cost of Living (full weight): This factor adjusts for the cost of living in a city.

Hispanic Owned Business (full weight): The log-scaled percentage of businesses that are Hispanic-owned.

Full Data Set

The data points presented are defined as follows:

  • Rank: Rank in the overall analysis, with a lower rank indicating a higher overall score.
  • Final Score: This is the weighted score incorporating the factors defined in the study Methodology.
  • Hispanic or Latino Population: The size of the population identifying as Hispanic or Latino.
  • Median Latina Adjusted Income: The median income for Latinas in the city adjusted for purchasing power.
  • Cost of Crime per Capita: The societal costs of crime on a per capita basis as described in the Methodology.
  • % Latinas Above Poverty Level: The percentage of the Latina female population at or above the poverty level.
  • Local Latina's Equal Pay Day: Calculated as the percentage greater the median full-time white male income in the locality than the median full-time Latina income. It is assumed that the income ratio calculated is the same in 2020 as the 2019 data set shows.
  • Latina Homeownership Score: This is the Latina Homeownership factor defined in the Methodology.
Rank
City
Final Score
Hispanic or Latino Population
Median Latina Adj. Income
Cost of Crime per Capita
% Latinas Above Poverty Level
Local Latina's Equal Pay Day
Latina Homeownership Score

1

Gilbert, AZ

100.0

37,056

$49,271

$240

93%

8/2/2021

36

2

Washington, DC

99.8

79,477

$51,409

$3,731

86%

9/18/2021

28

3

Torrance, CA

99.3

27,271

$56,413

$537

93%

3/25/2021

29

4

Seattle, WA

97.0

49,979

$52,345

$1,324

85%

9/2/2021

13

5

Tempe, AZ

93.3

40,804

$40,824

$1,229

85%

7/4/2021

26

6

Berkeley, CA

92.4

14,869

$50,738

$769

84%

6/16/2021

18

7

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

91.3

70,977

$39,665

$680

91%

10/22/2021

27

8

Burbank, CA

90.6

23,698

$35,669

$440

95%

8/22/2021

25

9

Henderson, NV

89.7

51,601

$35,793

$601

89%

12/6/2021

32

10

Arlington, VA

89.6

36,951

$44,500

$132

88%

12/2/2021

17

11

Albuquerque, NM

89.4

276,358

$39,453

$3,453

80%

5/18/2021

44

12

Hollywood, FL

89.3

57,042

$30,034

$1,155

90%

7/12/2021

33

13

El Paso, TX

86.8

559,571

$33,748

$1,167

80%

5/14/2021

49

14

Virginia Beach, VA

86.5

38,235

$36,839

$946

87%

9/19/2021

31

15

Orlando, FL

85.6

106,346

$31,420

$2,054

83%

5/18/2021

19

16

Jacksonville, FL

85.3

97,244

$33,763

$2,473

85%

8/4/2021

32

17

San Antonio, TX

85.2

998,698

$35,460

$1,909

82%

4/8/2021

43

18

San Francisco, CA

85.2

134,309

$38,322

$1,401

86%

6/27/2022

11

19

Chandler, AZ

85.1

49,932

$37,570

$607

89%

10/15/2021

35

20

Corpus Christi, TX

84.1

207,217

$38,607

$2,188

80%

4/29/2021

47

21

Peoria, AZ

84.1

31,509

$42,581

$660

88%

6/18/2021

37

22

Chicago, IL

83.5

776,290

$33,522

$3,136

83%

12/12/2021

35

23

Yonkers, NY

83.3

84,067

$38,820

$756

82%

6/9/2021

11

24

West Covina, CA

83.2

59,738

$34,128

$971

90%

1/23/2021

26

25

Westminster, CO

83.0

23,279

$35,410

$747

94%

10/5/2021

28

26

Santa Clarita, CA

82.4

73,777

$34,851

$315

90%

11/7/2021

35

27

Cicero, IL

82.3

73,618

$30,236

$904

90%

5/12/2021

40

28

New York, NY

82.1

2,423,588

$31,967

$1,120

77%

12/28/2021

7

29

Corona, CA

82.0

86,881

$37,290

$581

91%

7/20/2021

24

30

Laredo, TX

81.9

251,911

$32,593

$662

81%

6/25/2021

46

31

Colorado Springs, CO

81.6

89,995

$40,298

$1,530

84%

5/31/2021

26

32

Fayetteville, NC

81.6

28,183

$34,265

$2,475

82%

2/26/2021

35

33

Tampa, FL

81.5

113,700

$30,506

$1,402

78%

12/30/2021

32

34

Miami, FL

81.4

333,777

$26,948

$1,808

76%

3/22/2021

22

35

Simi Valley, CA

81.0

30,628

$34,495

$278

88%

10/7/2021

32

36

Lancaster, CA

80.9

66,476

$30,640

$1,609

83%

5/19/2021

45

37

Sacramento, CA

80.9

158,728

$34,828

$1,567

82%

8/25/2021

23

38

Kansas City, MO

80.6

55,466

$36,315

$5,109

84%

8/24/2021

42

39

Denver, CO

80.6

212,983

$36,883

$2,173

84%

10/28/2021

24

40

Jersey City, NJ

80.5

66,158

$29,192

$1,207

75%

12/11/2021

20

41

Chula Vista, CA

80.4

159,178

$32,439

$580

89%

7/1/2021

27

42

Oakland, CA

80.3

116,111

$31,469

$3,507

87%

4/8/2022

18

43

Norwalk, CA

80.0

73,098

$31,122

$1,047

94%

4/12/2021

40

44

Antioch, CA

79.7

35,157

$44,367

$1,938

83%

4/3/2021

34

45

Boston, MA

79.5

136,632

$39,306

$1,416

74%

10/20/2021

7

46

Hayward, CA

79.4

62,402

$31,273

$879

92%

6/4/2021

22

47

Austin, TX

79.3

318,016

$37,008

$1,052

82%

9/7/2021

20

48

Huntington Beach, CA

79.2

43,609

$39,119

$464

88%

8/24/2021

10

49

West Palm Beach, FL

79.1

28,222

$31,756

$2,649

80%

6/15/2021

24

50

Fontana, CA

78.9

151,452

$34,815

$809

89%

7/1/2021

35

51

Minneapolis, MN

78.9

42,145

$34,851

$2,499

82%

11/8/2021

26

52

Tucson, AZ

78.7

248,875

$33,818

$1,818

78%

4/27/2021

37

53

Bakersfield, CA

78.6

201,416

$36,242

$1,672

84%

10/6/2021

32

54

Riverside, CA

78.4

189,622

$32,866

$1,304

89%

6/13/2021

27

55

Fremont, CA

78.1

29,965

$37,180

$332

99%

10/19/2021

13

56

Concord, CA

77.9

42,279

$33,769

$824

88%

8/1/2021

16

57

Palmdale, CA

77.9

93,623

$31,161

$1,113

86%

5/9/2021

47

58

Fairfield, CA

77.5

32,347

$35,421

$1,063

89%

4/27/2021

31

59

Plano, TX

77.5

38,774

$31,610

$396

88%

5/30/2022

15

60

Ontario, CA

77.4

132,110

$30,544

$1,159

89%

5/19/2021

31

61

Portland, OR

77.2

63,142

$30,679

$1,443

82%

1/26/2022

18

62

Rochester, NY

77.2

41,717

$37,094

$2,736

65%

4/17/2021

51

63

Moreno Valley, CA

77.1

124,204

$28,634

$1,329

91%

9/4/2021

37

64

Providence, RI

76.7

79,501

$34,784

$1,536

75%

8/5/2021

25

65

Rockford, IL

76.6

27,097

$29,669

$2,661

78%

10/24/2021

53

66

Alexandria, VA

76.4

26,479

$30,140

$422

91%

9/28/2022

11

67

Arvada, CO

76.2

18,579

$39,443

$537

86%

8/28/2021

17

68

Hialeah, FL

76.1

223,976

$26,501

$604

76%

3/10/2021

16

69

North Las Vegas, NV

76.1

111,078

$32,053

$1,919

88%

4/28/2021

36

70

Indianapolis, IN

76.1

96,303

$35,799

$3,646

83%

7/30/2021

34

71

Downey, CA

76.0

87,453

$31,477

$853

91%

4/9/2021

19

72

Reno, NV

75.8

61,608

$31,679

$1,355

88%

10/23/2021

17

73

Pomona, CA

75.7

109,319

$29,499

$1,714

88%

3/8/2021

27

74

Fort Lauderdale, FL

75.6

33,036

$35,473

$2,120

87%

9/29/2021

28

75

Daly City, CA

75.5

27,018

$25,790

$364

95%

7/7/2021

11

76

Mesa, AZ

75.4

135,566

$32,636

$830

81%

7/23/2021

26

77

Glendale, AZ

75.1

105,328

$30,432

$1,278

79%

6/14/2021

34

78

Aurora, IL

75.1

84,707

$25,332

$1,020

87%

12/4/2021

30

79

South Bend, IN

74.8

15,651

$36,542

$3,257

80%

5/16/2021

55

80

Miami Beach, FL

74.7

54,301

$23,241

$2,147

84%

12/26/2021

14

81

Fullerton, CA

74.4

52,612

$32,123

$640

87%

8/17/2021

9

82

Oceanside, CA

74.1

72,833

$26,792

$878

92%

8/4/2021

30

83

Joliet, IL

74.1

52,609

$30,456

$1,994

90%

10/20/2021

46

84

Inglewood, CA

74.0

54,818

$28,878

$939

87%

1/28/2021

18

85

Pasadena, CA

73.9

48,318

$26,831

$926

88%

9/25/2022

12

86

Fresno, CA

73.8

265,332

$32,498

$1,717

75%

6/1/2021

28

87

San Jose, CA

73.7

312,762

$32,987

$1,044

92%

12/22/2021

13

88

Columbus, OH

73.5

63,063

$33,438

$1,766

79%

9/13/2021

26

89

Lubbock, TX

73.5

96,749

$29,575

$1,966

77%

12/2/2021

32

90

Phoenix, AZ

73.0

725,394

$30,278

$1,850

82%

7/9/2021

30

91

Wichita, KS

73.0

64,528

$28,524

$2,734

79%

1/1/2022

38

92

Santa Rosa, CA

72.5

61,828

$30,058

$952

95%

9/15/2021

12

93

Milwaukee, WI

72.4

113,452

$34,325

$3,445

77%

7/9/2021

38

94

Cleveland, OH

72.2

48,199

$34,696

$4,544

65%

8/13/2021

47

95

Salt Lake City, UT

72.0

39,753

$31,003

$1,913

82%

12/19/2021

23

96

Thornton, CO

71.9

53,176

$32,090

$696

84%

10/20/2021

34

97

Detroit, MI

71.8

55,289

$28,371

$7,080

69%

9/23/2021

66

98

Las Vegas, NV

71.8

231,225

$33,330

$1,412

78%

7/20/2021

29

99

Chico, CA

71.6

21,312

$25,771

$964

70%

11/15/2021

23

100

Norwalk, CT

71.5

22,003

$31,004

$440

85%

10/7/2021

13

101

Santa Ana, CA

71.4

258,963

$26,077

$1,076

87%

6/15/2021

19

102

Vallejo, CA

71.1

36,056

$33,560

$2,372

88%

10/6/2021

28

103

New Haven, CT

71.1

41,806

$28,423

$2,262

79%

12/27/2021

17

104

San Bernardino, CA

70.9

139,940

$24,566

$3,959

81%

6/22/2021

42

105

Glendale, CA

70.9

40,460

$27,318

$467

85%

10/15/2021

9

106

Aurora, CO

70.8

112,815

$32,354

$1,939

88%

7/18/2021

19

107

Fort Worth, TX

70.8

332,505

$31,043

$1,509

85%

10/13/2021

45

108

Arlington, TX

70.5

118,099

$34,484

$1,234

86%

7/6/2021

32

109

Garland, TX

70.2

112,071

$30,686

$1,020

87%

5/8/2021

41

110

Oxnard, CA

70.2

153,141

$27,367

$1,142

88%

4/24/2021

20

111

Stockton, CA

70.0

135,906

$23,045

$2,942

82%

5/2/2021

23

112

Springfield, MA

69.7

75,222

$36,836

$2,558

68%

6/10/2021

10

113

Allentown, PA

69.5

66,470

$28,677

$1,193

73%

4/16/2021

22

114

Philadelphia, PA

69.2

241,425

$29,612

$3,499

59%

12/4/2021

34

115

Bridgeport, CT

68.9

62,224

$27,866

$1,954

70%

5/7/2021

27

116

San Diego, CA

68.7

431,477

$29,930

$927

86%

11/7/2021

16

117

Anaheim, CA

68.7

187,046

$25,896

$752

88%

7/11/2021

10

118

Houston, TX

68.6

1,060,507

$28,536

$2,616

76%

10/3/2021

31

119

Omaha, NE

68.6

66,448

$30,670

$1,550

80%

12/5/2021

30

120

Tulsa, OK

68.5

68,919

$31,465

$3,004

81%

10/24/2021

34

121

El Monte, CA

68.3

69,311

$25,802

$579

86%

4/13/2021

5

122

Hawthorne, CA

68.1

50,870

$26,045

$1,288

86%

4/28/2021

14

123

Long Beach, CA

67.7

207,396

$27,089

$1,487

82%

11/18/2021

14

124

Irving, TX

67.5

102,229

$26,441

$612

88%

11/7/2021

27

125

Los Angeles, CA

67.5

1,919,328

$26,226

$1,647

81%

10/19/2021

15

126

Garden Grove, CA

67.4

61,866

$26,876

$832

92%

8/6/2021

20

127

Paterson, NJ

67.4

88,185

$21,951

$2,387

78%

2/20/2021

16

128

Lynn, MA

67.3

44,070

$32,471

$1,563

73%

5/12/2021

13

129

Salinas, CA

66.9

127,756

$27,316

$1,281

84%

8/17/2021

17

130

Charlotte, NC

66.6

133,109

$31,859

$2,182

81%

5/25/2022

23

131

Newark, NJ

66.5

103,965

$20,093

$2,921

74%

6/27/2021

23

132

Elizabeth, NJ

66.1

86,361

$23,857

$1,497

86%

7/22/2021

23

133

Dallas, TX

66.0

553,420

$26,774

$2,682

79%

9/27/2021

32

134

Hillsboro, OR

65.9

28,711

$28,125

$487

85%

5/17/2022

13

135

Des Moines, IA

65.7

28,158

$27,373

$1,814

87%

12/15/2021

35

136

Escondido, CA

65.6

78,967

$25,897

$791

77%

7/1/2021

14

137

Oklahoma City, OK

65.2

135,865

$30,267

$2,384

76%

11/16/2021

31

138

Westminster, CA

64.3

23,773

$25,885

$454

84%

4/27/2021

9

139

South Gate, CA

64.1

89,321

$26,654

$1,366

86%

1/11/2021

11

140

Worcester, MA

63.9

46,759

$30,565

$1,588

74%

8/5/2021

15

141

Buffalo, NY

62.6

35,335

$31,904

$3,190

57%

8/31/2021

23

142

Richmond, CA

61.1

53,138

$22,907

$2,793

83%

5/28/2022

17

143

Grand Rapids, MI

61.0

33,683

$29,405

$1,339

63%

11/9/2021

30

About the Author


expert-profile

Lucia Caldera is a writer who specializes in personal finance. Her goal is to create approachable content that sparks financial wellness and unlocks growth. Lucia’s work reflects her passion for financial education as the key to reducing the wealth gap for women and minorities.


sources