Media, Marketing Trends: Hispanics Younger, More English Proficient
A majority (62%) of Mexicans over the age of five who are living in the U.S. speak English "proficiently," while having a median age of 11 years younger than the country at large, according to new data from the Pew Hispanic Center.
"Proficiently" means speaking English solely at home or doing so "very well." The findings come from a Pew analysis of 2008 Census data. Figures are based on a survey, where people said they were either born in Mexico or have family origins there.
The median age for Mexicans in the U.S. is 25, compared to 36 for the full U.S. population. The 31 million Mexicans also have a lower median age than for all Hispanic residents.
The median income for Mexicans 16 or older in 2008 was just above $20,000, slightly below the full Hispanic population. Among 10 Hispanic groups, Puerto Ricans and Cubans tied for the highest at nearly $26,500, according to Pew's analysis.
An earlier Pew report on Internet usage found that online news users tend to be employed full-time (50%) and two-thirds (67%) have at least some college education. Racially, this group skews toward Hispanics and whites, while 32% of Hispanics get their news entirely offline.
With 19 million Mexicans who are conversant in English, that could give marketers some options in addition to Spanish-language media to reach them. Still, Spanish-language media appears to maintain its efficiency, since more than 60% of all U.S. Hispanics don't view themselves as "proficient" in English.
While some marketers appreciate the younger-skewing Hispanic population, the median annual personal income is a bit over $21,000. Still, data from the University of Georgia's Selig Center shows that estimated Hispanic buying power -- $978 billion in 2009 -- is significant, coming in higher than the GDP of all except 14 countries around the globe.
Buying power is defined as personal income available after taxes, not including money borrowed or saved in previous years. Hispanics represent 9% of all U.S. buying power, according to the Selig Center. The $978 billion figure is expected to increase by 36% over the next five years, faster than the predicted 22% jump for the general population.
Separately this week, Spanish-language network Telemundo released a survey that addressed economic concerns. It found that 63% of Hispanics feel the economy has not improved, but has "stabilized." An additional 20% said the "worst is yet to come." The Telemundo-commissioned phone survey of 500 adults was conducted from Feb. 11 through March 7 by research firm Ipsos.
Telemundo said, however, that the figures show that Hispanics are more "optimistic" than the general population. It cited a poll conducted by Ipsos and commissioned by publisher McClatchy, which found 31% of U.S. residents saying the economic bottom is yet to come.
At 46.8 million, Hispanics make up more than 15% of the U.S. population, using a combination of current and 2008 Census figures. People who self-identify as Mexicans make up about two-thirds of the Hispanic population, the largest share by far. The next-largest community is Puerto Ricans, at about 9%. Cubans are third at 3%. Some 34% of Mexicans -- 11 million -- don't have health insurance, more than double the U.S. population.
A majority of Mexicans live in California (37%) and Texas (25%). About 70% of Cubans live in Florida, while 51% of the 1.3 million Dominicans live in New York and almost 80% of them in the Northeast.