A recent study of the Hispanic market from the Nielsen corporation confirms what we’ve been telling marketers for years: Your business can’t survive without this thriving group of consumers. State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative, billed by Nielsen as “a fresh perspective on the Hispanic consumer segment of the U.S. economy,” leaves no doubt that anyone who wants their business to live in the 21st century better get culturally assimilated—to Latinos. “The future U.S. economy will depend on Hispanics,” Nielsen says. “By virtue of demographic change and the social and cultural shifts expected to accompany their continued growth.” Here are some reasons why:
“Latinos are a fundamental component to business success, and not a passing niche on the sidelines.”
To put it bluntly, Latinos are taking over the U.S. by sheer numbers. The 2010 U.S. Census confirmed that in every major city with the exception of Los Angeles, white births are on the decline and minority births are on the rise with Latinos leading the way. The state with the largest growth, Texas, owes that to Hispanic births. The future of this country is Latino.
“Rapid Latino population growth will persist, even if immigration is completely halted.”
The Hispanic population in the U.S. is the fastest growing ethnic group despite immigration taking a sharp decline. Hispanics are expected to grow 167 percent from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42 percent for the total population according to Nielsen.
“Latinos have amassed significant buying power, despite perceptions to the contrary.”
According to Nielsen, if it were a standalone country, the U.S. Hispanic market buying power would make it one of the top twenty economies in the world. Despite the recession, U.S. Latino households that earn $50,000 or more are growing at a faster rate than total households.
“Hispanics are the largest immigrant group to exhibit significant culture sustainability and are not disappearing into the American melting pot.”
What Nielsen found is that even those Hispanics who were born and raised in the U.S. are now becoming more immersed in their Hispanic culture than they may have been in their youth. A unique set of circumstances is allowing them to hold on to it. That may evolve, but will not go away. “Borderless social networking, unprecedented exchange of goods, technology as a facilitator for cultural exchange, retro acculturation, and new culture generation combine to enable Hispanic culture in the U.S. to be sustainable,” says Nielsen. More specifically, Nielsen found that 37 percent of Hispanic adults who grew up mostly speaking English as kids have learned enough Spanish as adults to be considered bilingual and that many of these individuals have a desire to explore Spanish-language and Hispanic-themed media. A whopping nine out of ten Hispanic parents want their children to learn Spanish with 60 percent saying they want to be bicultural. Another trend is the growing rate of white and Hispanic married couples classifying their children as Hispanic. Of those studied by Nielsen in 2011, 72 percent classified their kids as Hispanic compared with only 35 percent in 1991. Nielsen also points out that Americans with Mexican ancestry outnumber those with Irish, English and Italian ancestry.
When you combine the social and economic findings of the study, it’s not hard to see why Nielsen calls the study of the Hispanic Market an imperative.