Pew Hispanic Center (The)


The Pew Hispanic Center is a non-partisan research organization supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia. The Center is a project of the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication (Pew Hispanic Center).

The Pew Hispanic Center conducts and commissions research on a variety wide of subjects with the goal of presenting studies that meet scientific standards and is publicly accessible.  The Center also regularly conducts public opinion surveys will the goal of highlighting Latino views on a variety of social and public policy issues. The Center focuses on eight key subject areas:

  • Demography - The patterns of Hispanic population growth and settlement across the United States.
  • Economics - The wealth, well-being and wages of Latinos over time and in comparison to others.
  • Education - The outcomes and the factors that produce them as well as Latino views on education policy issues.
  • Identity - Attitudes towards a variety of matters shape the ways that Latinos see themselves and their place in U.S. society.
  • Immigration - The foreign born as a factor in population growth, their origins and characteristics.
  • Labor - Hispanic's role in the labor force and the impact of business cycles on their employment and wages.
  • Politics - Levels of participation, views on policy issues and partisan loyalties.
  • Remittances - The billions of dollars sent home by Latino immigrants, how they are sent and how they are spent (ibid.).

Historic Roots

The Pew Hispanic Center was established in 2001 as a nonpartisan research organization supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  The Center strives to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to record the growing impact of Latinos on the United States.  The Center is a sort of "fact tank" in Washington, DC, providing information on the issues, attitudes and trends that form American society and the world (Kaiser Family Foundation).

Together, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Kaiser Family Foundation work to develop survey questionnaires and analyze results for a deeper understanding of the Hispanic culture in the United States (ibid.).


The Pew Hispanic Center, through its annual "National Survey of Latinos," a nationwide survey conducted with the Kaiser Family Foundation, has made an exhaustive study of Latino attitudes, beliefs, values and experiences, and measured them against long-term trend lines.  Among its reports have been a series of ground-breaking studies on the billions of dollars in remittances Latino immigrants send annually to their families in their native countries; a study of the high rate of attrition among Latino college students; studies on the Latino labor market; and a studies of Latino attitudes toward the war in Iraq, the economy and the 2004 election (Pew Hispanic Center).

In a 2004 study of Hispanic attitudes on education, the following important differences in attitudes about education between Latinos and other minorities were noted:  “Hispanics support the use of standardized testing and are less likely than African Americans to say such tests are biased against non-white students, according to a new comprehensive survey of Latino attitudes toward education. In general, Latinos offer positive views of their local schools, teachers and educational institutions, and Latino parents say they are active in their child’s school and involved in their education.  However, the survey also reveals their concerns that the educational system does not always treat Latino students fairly. Substantial numbers of Latinos, for example, worry that Hispanic students lag behind other children because teachers are unable to bridge the cultural divides in their classrooms” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004).

Ties to the Philanthropic Sector

A public charity, The Pew Charitable Trusts is the sole beneficiary of seven individual charitable funds established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew (Pew Charitable Trusts).

The Pew Charitable Trusts began in 1948 with the creation of The Pew Memorial Foundation.  In its early years, the foundation worked in almost complete anonymity. The founders' religious principles and family philosophy made them very sensitive to any appearance of self-promotion through their "good works" (ibid.).

Between 1948 and 1956, The Pew Memorial Foundation made 181 grants totaling $12.5 million.  During the 1960s, the grantmaking of The Pew Charitable Trusts grew to a yearly average of $5 million, a fourfold increase over the average annual grant making of the original foundation. While the 1960s were characterized throughout the country by turmoil, for The Pew Charitable Trusts they marked an era of growth, consolidation and success (ibid.).

On January 1, 2004, the Trusts underwent a change in legal structure in order to better carry out their core mission of serving the public interest. On that date, the Trusts--after receiving all necessary legal approvals--began operating as an independent public charity. The new governing organization will improve the Trust's flexibility and effectiveness in fulfilling their objectives, specifically:

  • Informing the public on key issues and trends through independent, highly credible research and polling.
  • Advancing policy solutions on important issues facing the American public.
  • Supporting the arts, heritage, health and well-being of our diverse citizenry, and civic life, with particular emphasis on Philadelphia (ibid.).

Key Related Ideas

Personal philanthropy is the idea that philanthropy is a personal responsibility.  Any individual can and should donate time, energy, or money to support the causes and issues that hold personal value for them.  In the United States, nearly 85% of philanthropic giving comes from individuals. (World Economic Forum, 2001)

Family philanthropy is the philanthropic effort of families to leverage their assets and their giving across generations.  Some of the guiding principals of family philanthropy include (National Center for Family Philanthropy):

  • Valuing the role that philanthropy and philanthropic citizenship plays in a civil society
  • Valuing the participation of individuals and families in private, organized philanthropy
  • Valuing the donor's right and ability to direct charitable assets through the philanthropic vehicles and to programs of choice
  • Valuing the personal acts of generosity that inspire private philanthropy. We understand and respect both the issues of privacy and public trust that accompany the decision to engage in philanthropy

Philanthropic research foundations include all those foundations created to conduct or support basic research in a disease, cause, or area of inquiry of interest to foundation members.  For example, in the San Francisco, CA area alone, over 250 philanthropic foundations conduct research in areas as diverse Key Related Ideas as education, ecology, and marijuana reform (San Francisco Business Directory).

Important People Related to the Topic

  • Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967): Kaiser was a builder of roads, dams, ships and housing. He established giant businesses in cement, aluminum, chemicals, steel, tourism and health care.  The Kaiser Family Foundation was founded based on his legacy and focus.

  • Mabel Pew Myrin (1889 – 1972):  Myrin, one of four children of Joseph N. and Mary Anderson Pew (founders of the Sun Oil Company) who created The Pew Charitable Trusts through the establishment of seven individual charitable funds.

  • J. Howard Pew (1882 – 1971):  J. Howard Pew, one of four children of Joseph N. and Mary Anderson Pew (founders of the Sun Oil Company) who created The Pew Charitable Trusts through the establishment of seven individual charitable funds.

  • J.N. Pew Jr. (1886 – 1963):  J.N. Pew, Jr., one of four children of Joseph N. and Mary Anderson Pew (founders of the Sun Oil Company) who created The Pew Charitable Trusts through the establishment of seven individual charitable funds.

  • Mary Ethel Pew (1884 – 1979):  Mary Ethel Pew, one of four children of Joseph N. and Mary Anderson Pew (founders of the Sun Oil Company) who created The Pew Charitable Trusts through the establishment of seven individual charitable funds.

Related Nonprofit Organizations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA) was established in 1916, to improve the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry relating to education and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results.  The Association offers low cost membership to a Special Interest Group on Hispanic Research Issues (

  • Hispanic Research Center (HRC) at Arizona State University provides research and creative activities university wide but administered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The HRC conducts basic and applied research on a wide variety of topics related to Hispanic populations, disseminates research findings to the academic community and the public, engages in creative activities and makes them available generally, and provides public service in areas of importance to Hispanics (

  • National Latino Research Center (NLRC) at California State University San Marcos is dedicated to applied research, training, technical assistance and research-based activities that provide knowledge and understanding of the rapidly growing U.S. Latino population (

  • Southwest Hispanic Research Institute at the University of New Mexico, founded in 1980, studies the Hispanic experience within the context of the southwestern region. The mission of the institute is to promote teaching and research and to disseminate information concerning historical, contemporary and emerging issues that impact Hispanics in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California (

Related Web Sites

Hispanic Research Journal Web site, at, provides research articles (some issues free of charge) on various issues with text in Spanish.

Kids Count Web site, at, offers Profiles, Rankings and Raw Data for Hispanic Origin Status relating specifically to children.

Pew Hispanic Center Web site, at, provides Research and Publications, Surveys, Datasets, and Resources with links to many Web sites and research relating to Demography, Education, Immigration and Remittances – all with a special focus on Hispanics and Latinos.

U.S. Census Bureau Web site, at, offers a great deal statistical information on the Hispanic and Latino population including a Census 2000 Brief.

Bibliography and Internet Sources

Foundation Center.  Gustavus and Louis Pfeiffer Research
Foundation (NJ).  2005.  Accessed 12 July, 2005.

Kaiser Family Foundation.  Kaiser Polls: Pew Hispanic Center/ Kaiser Surveys of Latinos.   Accessed 12 July,

Kaiser Family Foundation.  Latinos are Optimistic About Schools and
Education.  2004.  Accessed 12 July, 2005.

National Center for Family Philanthropy. Values of Family Philanthropy. 
Accessed 14 July, 2005.

Pew Hispanic Center.  About Us.  Accessed 14 July 2005.

Pew Charitable Trusts.  History.  Accessed 12 July, 2005.

San Francisco Business Directory.  List of San Francisco Research
Foundations. Accessed 14 July, 2005.

World Economic Forum.  Personal Philanthropy.  2001.  Accessed 7 June 2005. No longer available online.

This paper was developed by a student taking a Philanthropic Studies course taught at Ferris State University - Grand Rapids Campus. It is offered by Learning To Give and Ferris State University - Grand Rapids Campus.