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New Data on Latino Immigrants in KC

By Sylvia Maria Gross

Kansas City, MO – It's become almost a cliche to comment on the growth of the Latino community in every part of the United States - including the Kansas City area. But few can accurately answer the question - how big is this community? And what are its characteristics?

Here in Kansas City, El Centrothe family services organization has been collecting its own data for five years now - the 2005 report was released this week. El Centro's survey suggests that only 18% of Latinos currently in the area were counted in the 2000 census. Taking that into account, there may be as many as half a million Latinos in all of Missouri and Kansas - with anywhere between 135 to 200 thousand in the Kansas City area.

El Centro's Policy Director Melinda Lewis gave Sylvia Maria Gross some highlights from the new survey.

Melinda Lewis is Director of Policy Advocacy and Research at El Centro, a family services organization in Kansas City, Kansas. El Centro conducted the 2005 Survey in conjunction with the Mattie Rhodes Center and Guadalupe Centers in Kansas City Missouri.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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