Hispanics Wield $1 Trillion+ Buying Power

The total buying power of Hispanics living in the U.S. grew from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.1 trillion in 2011, and is on track for $1.5 trillion by 2015, according to a new overview from Nielsen on “The State of the Hispanic Consumer.”

The Nielsen report highlighted the importance of Hispanic consumers to the future of the nation and its business, as they will play an ever-larger role in shaping demographic and consumption trends.

Although the 52 million Hispanics living in the U.S. are a diverse group, broadly speaking they are advancing economically, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures cited by Nielsen. In 2011, households making $50,000 or more made up 40% of the total Hispanic marketplace, while 17% earned $35,000-$49,999 and 43% earned $34,999 or less. The proportion of Hispanic households making $50,000 or more increased faster than the national average from 2000-2011.

The buying power of U.S. Hispanics will also increase, in part, simply because the population is growing so rapidly. From 2000-2011, the U.S. Hispanic population grew 14.7 million, more than the rest of the population combined (14.5 million).



In the next five years, Hispanics are expected to add 7.4 million people, or 60% of total growth of 12.4 million people by 2016. By 2050, the U.S. Hispanic population is expected to increase 167%, compared to 42% growth for the total population.

This population will be especially important in shaping consumption trends because of its relative youth. Over 60% of the U.S. Hispanic population is under age 35, and 75% is under age 45. The median age of the population is 28, compared to a median age of 37 for the U.S. market as a whole.

Nielsen forecasts an especially prominent role for younger U.S. Hispanic adults in the real estate market in coming years. Nielsen also cited data from IBISWorld predicting positive impacts on various categories, including food, retail, education, financial services, transportation, entertainment and media.

In this last category, the Nielsen report identified significant differences in media consumption patterns between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. Most prominently, Hispanics over-indexed on new media but under-indexed on traditional media consumption.

For example, they watched only 89% as much traditional TV as non-Hispanic whites, 58% as much time-shifted TV, and 87% as much DVR playback. But they led in watching video on the Internet, where they over-indexed against non-Hispanic whites by 168%, and watching video on mobile phones, where they over-indexed 120%.

They also led non-Hispanic whites in text messaging and SMS, mobile Internet use, mobile email, mobile picture downloads and mobile music downloads.

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