Latinos Activate JOCO Provides Data on the Growing Latino Population in Johnston County
Representatives from Latinos Activate JOCO presented to the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently.
The organization shared data about the growing Latino community living in Johnston County
Latinos Activate JOCO is an organization of volunteers committed to serving and improving the quality of life for people of Latino descent living in Johnston County. They are dedicated to forecasting on advocacy, health, education, and awareness of issues for people of Latino descent. Their purpose is educational and charitable.
Sergio Benitez, founder of the organization and Kelly Blanchard, treasurer, presented the following information:
According to the US Census 1.1 million Latinos live in North Carolina
Johnston County is home to 34,400 Latinos
6 in 10 Latinos living in North Carolina are US Born
1 in 3 Latinos are born in North Carolina
59.19% of Johnston County’s Latino population are US Born
As of 2020, Johnston County had the fourth-highest Hispanic population share in the
state, with 16% of its population identifying as Hispanic or Latino.
This growth is part of a wider trend in North Carolina, where less populated, rural
counties have seen a faster increase in the Latino population over the past three
In Johnston County , the ethnic composition of the Latino community includes Mexican
origin 9.4%, Puerto Rican 1.2%, Cuban 0.3%, Honduran, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and
other origins/ancestries 4.2%.
Many Latinos move to Johnston County to work.
67.6% of Latinos living in Johnston County participate in the workforce
63.9% Employment rate
5.3% Unemployment rate
31.9% Poverty rate among Latinos
Top Latino Professions
1. Management, business, science, and arts occupations
2. Service occupations
3. Sales and office occupations
4. Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations
5. Production, transportation, and material moving occupations
We estimate that around 2,700 Latinos business could be operating in Johnston County
Informality and Size: Many Latino owned business are sole proprietorships and operate
informally, often not being registered with official business registries. This can make
them difficult to track and count in official statistics.
Limited Resources: Sole proprietors typically have limited access to capital and
resources compared to larger businesses. This can affect their growth and
Personal Liability: As sole proprietors, Latino business owners are personally liable for
all business debts and obligations, which can be a significant risk.
Lack of Formal Support Structures: Sole proprietors often lack the support structures
that larger businesses might have, such as legal and financial advisors, which can be a
barrier to navigating regulatory environments and accessing funding.
Flexibility and Adaptability: On the positive side, sole proprietorships can be more
flexible and adaptable, allowing owners to closely align the business with their
personal vision and community needs.
Community Impact: Latino sole proprietors often play a vital role in their local
economies and communities, offering culturally relevant goods and services.
Access to Capital
Limited Financial Resources
Dependence on Personal Funds
Awareness and Accessibility
Complexity of Legal Requirements
Cost of Compliance
Frequent Changes in Regulations
Language and Cultural Barriers
The lack of business network limiting access to information, resources, and opportunities.
Employment Challenges for Latinos
College attendance among Latinos is lower compared to other demographic groups.
Latinas have lower participation in the workforce.
Underrepresentation in High-Paying Sectors
Latinos are underrepresented in management, business, and financial occupations
The Latinos working poverty rate was 5.6% in 2020, pointing to a need for more equitable
wages and benefits.
Our Initiatives to Overcome These Challenges
Hosting workshops on raising capital, obtaining raw materials, customer acquisition, staff
Partnership and Networking
Work with community partners to serve the Latino community.
Host networking events