In 2008 62 percent of latinos over the age of 25 had

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In 2008, 62 percent of Latinos over the age of 25 had completed high school, compared with 87 percent of the non-Latino white population. Due to different backgrounds prior to entering the U.S., Mexicans have the lowest educational levels, and Cubans have the highest. While income levels for Latinos are higher than those for African Americans, they still lag behind the non- Latino white population. Even Cubans, the most affluent group, have an income that is 75 percent of whites; Puerto Ricans are the lowest income group, with about 51 percent of the income of non-Latino whites. In 2009, 25 percent of Latinos families were living in poverty, compared with 9.4 percent of whites. Cubans are the only group whose occupational prestige and income is even comparable to that of whites. Latino workers are concentrated in low-skill, low-pay jobs. Agricultural work is common, especially among Mexican Americans. In the South, documented and undocumented Latino agricultural workers face Jim Crow-like conditions in which they are cheated out of earnings, denied health and safety protections, profiled by law enforcement, and preyed upon by criminals who know they are not likely to go to the police.
Latinos have become a visible political force. There are currently 25 Latinos in the U.S. House of Representatives, three times the number in 1981. The majority are Mexican Americans. Since 2002, there have been 3 Latino Senators, at least 2 Latino governors, and 6,000 state and local Latino public officials. Despite this success, in 2010 the House of Representatives was just 5 percent Latino, and there were 2 Senators, while Latinos comprise almost 15 percent of the population. Issue of immigration, education, income, and quality of life will likely keep Latinos politically active. C. Native Americans - Because of stereotypes, the extensive diversity among Native Americans is not recognized. Tribal groups are as different from each other as they are from the dominant culture. There are more than 500 tribes and bands, totaling around 4.5 million, three-fourths of whom do not live on reservations. Official U.S. policy toward Native Americans has ranged from oppression, impoverishment, deceit, and neglect, to paternalism, or domination, and care. Whatever the policies, Native Americans have been left out of social and economic opportunities. The fact that the U.S. Census does not report data for Native Americans is evidence of official neglect. An estimated 25 percent of Native Americans live below the poverty line; the median income is less than $35,000 per year, and about 15 percent have an income over $50,000 per year, compared with 30 percent of the white population. High school graduate rates for Native Americans and whites are 76 percent and 87 percent, respectively. Fourteen percent of Native Americans have completed four years or more of college, compared to almost 30 percent of the white population. One-third of Native Americans work in blue-collar jobs, and only 20 percent are employed in professional or managerial positions. In terms of political representation, there are only two Native Americans in the House of Representatives.

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