The most recent Census figures found that 58,000 Hispanics live in St. Louis, but other surveys that count undocumented residents estimate the total to be closer to 90,000. Missouri, meanwhile, is said to be home to more than 170,000 Latinos.
More details on what aspects of Latino life and culture the local brain trust is hoping to better understand after the jump.
"Part of what we're trying to address is a demographic transition that's taking place nationwide and specifically in Missouri, where Latinos are the fastest-growing population," [SLU professor] Onesimo Sandoval said. "We can pinpoint that the metropolitan region of St. Louis is one of these regions where we will see a tremendous demographic transition over the next 10-20 years."Other potential research topics include school assimilation programs, increased diabetes and obesity and the psychological impact on Latino children from being separated from parents because of immigration issues.
Sandoval is collecting demographic information about Latinos throughout the Midwest, and he hopes to create indices of where people live and where the most vulnerable, high-poverty pockets of Latinos are located.