SAN DIEGO — Latinos are increasingly becoming a significant part of the U.S. economy, said a study released Thursday. It also might save it.

California Lutheran University said the gross domestic product of U.S. Latinos was $2.3 trillion in 2017, up from $1.7 trillion in 2010. The study argues if the Latino portion of the U.S. population was its own country, it would have the third-highest growth rate among all global economies.

The report was released as part of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals convention taking place Thursday to Sunday in San Diego. A large part of its conclusion is that Latinos will be used to help a shrinking, and aging, workforce, as well as be a critical component of the American economy moving forward.

Latinos make up about 34% of San Diego County’s population, according to the latest U.S. Census estimates. Whites make up 45 percent, Asians at 12% and African-Americans at 5.5 percent.

The California Lutheran study said the Latino economy is growing at a rate of 28%, which is faster than the American economy as a whole. The report relied on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census, the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series and other sources.

One of the reasons for growth is Latinos’ high labor force participation: At 67.4%, it’s five percentage points higher than non-Latinos. Another way to look at it: Latinos made up 20% of the nation’s overall population but accounted for more than 80% of labor force participation growth from 2010 to 2017.

Another reason for growth is Latino population growth, which is growing considerably faster than the rest of the nation. There were 58.7 million U.S. Latinos in 2017, an increase of nearly 16% from 2010 to 2017 — compared to growth of 3% for non-Latinos.

Consumer spending by Latinos also outpaced other parts of the population from 2010 to 2017. The group’s personal consumption, a measure of spending, grew 72% faster than the rest of the population.

Other key findings from the report:

—From 2007 to 2012, the total number of white-owned businesses shrank by 5% while the number of Latino-owned businesses grew by 46 percent.

—Residential investment in 2017 by Latinos was $51 billion out of $755 billion for the U.S. economy as a whole.

—The median age for Latinos was 29.3 years, compared to 40.5 years for non-Latinos.

—The Latino homeownership rate grew by 7% in 2017.

—Latinos had an average life expectancy of 81.8 years in 2016, compared to 78.5 years for whites.

Part of the report’s goal, its authors wrote, was to combat any narratives which regard Latinos as a drag on the economy.

“Far from being a drag, Latinos are a key factor enabling the U.S. to maintain its competitive edge in the 21st century global economy,” the report said.

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