Discover more from Latinometrics
NFL, Voting, and US Latinos
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
Thank you to the 305 new subscribers who have joined us since last week! Our chart about blueberries made it big on LinkedIn and Reddit, hitting 1.2M views and a 96% upvote rate. Blueberries are something most of us can get behind.
American sports leagues in Mexico
US Latinos are a big market
What is the voter turnout in your country?
Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom!
Tom Fears was the first Mexican-born player to join the NFL in 1946. Born in Guadalajara, he moved to California with his family at age six and showed impressive physical ability.
The Los Angeles Rams drafted Tom in 1948, following his service in World War II. He played with the Rams for eight seasons, winning three championships and leading the league in receptions for multiple seasons. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.
Interesting side story: Years later, he helped produce North Dallas Forty, a movie that details substance abuse within the NFL, and claimed that the league put him on a 'blacklist' because of it.
Tom's story illustrates the early days of the league's relationship with Mexico, and that relationship has come a long way. Isaac Alarcon and Alfredo Gutierrez are the two newest Mexican players to play in the league this season. Both graduated from ITESM, which has proven to be a football powerhouse in the country.
We also have to mention local legend Raul Allegre, a two-time Super Bowl champion from our hometown of Torreon, who, like us, graduated from the University of Texas. As an ESPN analyst, he's been a key figure in bringing the NFL to the Spanish-speaking masses.
Based on Google Trends, the NFL now has a dominant presence, with 22 of the 32 states following the NFL over any other American league. Mexico's love for the NFL is unique in Latin America — every other country prefers the NBA or the MLB.
And it's not just Google search — Mexico is the NFL's 2nd most substantial market. An estimated 8% of the country's entire population watched this year's Super Bowl on free TV alone.
Latinos in the US represents a massive economic force. From 2010 to 2020, their GDP grew 65%, according to the Latino Donor Collaborative's numbers. That figure is 2.6x the amount of non-Latino GDP. If they were their own country, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world.
While tempting to attribute the trend to a fantastic work ethic and superior productivity, the truth is that a higher population growth rate explains a lot. The Latino population grew +22% in that same 10-year period and reached 62M, compared to +4% for Non-Latinos. Almost one in five Americans are now Latino or Hispanic.
Still, here are a few other metrics that do point to Latinos being a force for development in the past decade:
Labor force: They represented 80% of additions to the labor force
Education: 2.8x faster growth in higher education graduates than Non-Latinos
Entrepreneurship: They accounted for 52% of all new employer businesses in the past decade. Startups like Guatemalan-founded Duolingo and Brazilian-founded Brex have passed $1B valuations.
Still, there is work to be done. Latinos occupy only 4% of executive roles and less than 3% of Fortune 1000 company board seats. A few notable leaders:
Antonio Neri — CEO of Hewlett Packard
Javier Rodriguez — CEO of DaVita
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — Member of US Congress
One of the most important measures of how citizens participate in national governance is the turnout at the polls. In most contexts, higher voter turnout indicates the health of democracy, whereas lower turnout is linked with voter indifference and mistrust of the political system.
Even though the number of countries holding direct elections has increased substantially since the 1990s, the global average voter turnout has decreased since 1950— with European countries leading the downward trend. Seeing people abstaining from voting in the region with the largest number of democracies is a worrying phenomenon.
Factors that impact voter turnout include population size and age, campaign expenditures, political fragmentation, registration requirements, and economic development. Naturally, we wanted to visualize how that last one relates to LatAm's voter turnout and compare it to Europe's.
Brazil sees some of the highest voter turnout rates in LatAm and higher even than France, Norway, and Germany. The 4th largest democracy held its first round of presidential elections last Sunday. An incredible 123M people waited in long lines to vote — a 79% voter turnout — with 32M abstaining. That's the same participation rate seen in the previous general election of 2018.
Also worth mentioning is Uruguay, which has had an average voter turnout of 90% — that's higher than almost all of Europe, with the sole exception of Luxembourg.
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
This week’s opportunity:
Revolut is looking to expand in Latin America:
Hiring Managers: Reply to this email if you’d like to feature an open role in our newsletter.
That’s all for this week 👋
Here’s the comment of the week, from our Blueberries chart on LinkedIn. It was great seeing the Inka’s Berrys team sharing our post and reflecting on what they’ve accomplished: they truly realized LatAm’s potential.
Feedback or chart suggestions? Reply to this email, and let us know! :)