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Connecting, Serving and Giving: Civic Engagement among Mid-life and Older Hispanic/Latino Adults



This study presents the findings of a survey of Hispanics/Latinos ages 50 and older regarding several key areas of social and community involvement, including:

  • Their perceived level of influence in making a difference on problems that exist in their community.

  • The number of groups and organizations to which they belong.

  • Their level of involvement in civic and community activities.

  • The frequency with which they vote in Presidential and local elections.

  • Their rate of volunteering—for organizations and/or on their own.

  • Their rate of charitable giving.

  • Demographic and other factors that influence their level of civic engagement.

Key findings include the following:

  • Top predictors of civic engagement among Hispanics/Latinos ages 50 and older are:

    • household income;

    • perceived levels of influence on community problems when joined with others; and

    • whether living in the Northeast census region.
  • The percentage of 50+ Hispanics/Latinos who feel they have a lot or moderate amount of influence on community problems when they act alone (20%) or when they are joined with others (40%) declined by double digits from 2009 (i.e., 31% and 59%, respectively).

  • Memberships with discount stores or clubs (41%) and religious organizations (38%) are of greatest appeal to 50+ Hispanics/Latinos.  However, fewer than half hold memberships with these types of organizations.

  • Just under half (47%) of 50+ Hispanics/Latinos volunteered in 2015—a decline of 7 percentage points from 2009 (54%).

  • Speaking English primarily at home and having a strong connection to the Hispanic/Latino culture are positively associated with one or more forms of civic engagement (e.g., civic and community involvement, charitable giving) among this group. 

This national address-based telephone survey of 725 Hispanics/Latinos ages 50 and older was conducted in August 2015 by AARP’s research partner (SSI) as part of AARP’s Attitude, Trend & Opinion Monitor (ATOM).  Interviews were 20 minutes in length on average and data were weighted by age, gender and other key characteristics.  For more information contact Alicia Williams at


Suggested Citation:

Williams, Alicia. Connecting, Serving and Giving: Civic Engagement among Mid-Life and Older Hispanic/Latino Adults. Washington, DC: AARP Research, January 2017.