The majority of Hispanics living in Connecticut believe their quality of life -- including finances, access to health insurance and affordable housing -- has declined in recent years, according to a study released on Wednesday, the Connecticut Day reports.
The state Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission organized the study to better assess the needs, health status and concerns of Hispanics, who are the largest and fastest-growing minority in the state. The study is the fourth the agency has conducted on the issues, the last of which was in 2002. The new study, based on a phone survey of 800 Hispanic adults, 50 in-person interviews of Hispanic youth, three focus groups and other surveys of 200 Hispanic leaders, found that most Connecticut Hispanics believed their quality of life had diminished significantly in the past two years. The survey also found that between 2002 and 2007, more Hispanics in Connecticut reported having a primary care physician, the ability to speak English comfortably and trust in the state judicial system.
Fernando Betancourt, executive director of LPRAC, said the findings on quality of life can be attributed to a "declining economy" that is "adding to the burden of working families, forcing many of them to work multiple jobs to keep their heads above water." He added, "When combined with inadequate health coverage and unattainable educational opportunities, lack of action on our part now could lead to a crisis in the very near future." A lack of representation on state leadership and policy committees also negatively affects Hispanics' quality of life, Ed Rodriguez, a member of LPRAC, said.
LPRAC officials hope to integrate the findings into legislation to improve the lives of Hispanics in Connecticut. Betancourt said, "This crisis can only be avoided if the governor and legislative leaders react through policy that bears clear and tangible change".
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation