Latino population growing in Hinsdale

Study shows number of Latinos has increased by 60 percent or more in 10 western suburbs

Greg DiDomenico of Community Memorial Foundation hopes a report detailing the growing Latino community in the western suburbs will help nonprofit organizations and policymakers better understand the needs of the region.

“We always, as a foundation, have been working to understand the communities that we serve,” said DiDomenico, president and chief executive officer. “We’ve done demographic studies in the past. Given the recent census, it was a great opportunity to work with the expertise of the Great Cities Institute, and so we funded the study in collaboration with Healthy Communities Foundation.”

The report, which was completed last year by the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois Chicago, looks at 36 suburbs in Cook and DuPage counties that make up the service area of Community Memorial Foundation and Healthy Communities Foundation.

Almost 200,000 Latinos reside in the area, accounting for 32 percent of the population. DiDomenico said the report’s findings were not unexpected.

“It was not surprising, but I learn something new every time I open the report, because it really explores our shared service area by municipality. You can actually explore the overall data analysis, but you can also go municipality by municipality,” he said.

Hinsdale is home to 948 Latinos who make up almost 5 percent of the town’s population. The median household income of Hinsdale Latinos was about $139,615 in 2015-19, lower than the overall median town income of $203,368.

For the foundation, which has set a goal of making this region the healthiest in the country, access to health insurance is an important statistic in the report. Fifteen percent of Latinos in the study area are uninsured.

“While we have made progress in closing the gap, work still needs to be done,” DiDomenico said.

He also pointed to the fact that 10 west suburban communities had an increase in Latino population of 60 percent or more between 2010 and 2020. That list includes Hinsdale (60 percent), Western Springs (73 percent) and LaGrange Park (71 percent).

“Again, not surprising, but a data point that, as a foundation, will inform our grant making and have an opportunity to share this data with our grantees, colleagues and partners,” he said.

One of those grantee partners is Wellness House in Hinsdale, which offered its first Spanish language class (yoga) in 2017. Today the nonprofit, which supports people and their caregivers on the cancer journey, offers a number of programs and a program guide in Spanish.

“We’re recognizing, of course, our vision that all people impacted by cancer thrive,” said Lisa Kolavennu, executive director. “If we want to be able to do that well, we need to be able to do that in different languages.”

Spanish speaking participants are not limited to sites outside of Wellness House’s Hinsdale location.

“We find Spanish language participants here at our main location,” she said. “Also in the partner locations we have throughout the western suburbs and Chicago, as well as our online programs.”

The data in the report confirms the decisions Wellness House leaders have made, and it also will help going forward in terms of program development and fundraising, she said.

“We’re seeing significant growth over the past 10 years and it appears that trend would continue,” Kolavennu said. “Through this collaboration and the data they’ve compiled, it’s useful for us to take to other foundations and funders as well to demonstrate the need that exists.”

The work Community Memorial Foundation does truly makes a different, she noted.

“Having access to this type of reliable and informative information is really critical for nonprofit organizations,” Kolavennu said. “We are grateful to have partnership in this way with Community Memorial Foundation.”

The report is available on the foundation’s website at