Hispanic Market Impacts National Landscape Significantly

According to a new Nielsen report on the Hispanic consumer, the U.S. Hispanic population is the largest minority segment and growing at a dramatic rate towards ethnic plurality (the coexistence of numerous ethnicities and races with no one segment in the majority), which has already occurred in the most populous states and is beginning to occur among the U.S. baby population.

The Executive Summary of the report shows that:

  • Latinos are a fundamental component to business success, and not a passing niche on the sidelines
  • Rapid Latino population growth will persist, even if immigration is completely halted
  • Latinos have amassed significant buying power, despite perceptions to the contrary
  • Hispanics are the largest immigrant group to exhibit significant culture sustainability and are not disappearing into the American melting pot
  • Technology and media use do not mirror the general market but have distinct patterns due to language, culture, and ownership dynamics
  • Latinos exhibit distinct product consumption patterns and are not buying in ways that are the same as the total market

Over 52 million strong, Latinos are impacting every aspect of the national landscape including popular culture, the workforce, consumerism, politics and American national identity, says the report. The Hispanic market’s size, growing clout, and buying power of $1 trillion in 2010 and $1.5 trillion by 2015 shows that Latinos are no longer just a sub-segment of the economy, but a prominent player in all aspects of American life.

2000 to 2011 Hispanic vs Total Market Income Growth


2011 Income

2000 to 2011 % Income Growth

Household Income



































Source: US Census Bureau, Nielsen, April 2012

The Hispanic market offers unique growth prospects within our borders, says the report. 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. What’s more, the per capita income of U.S. Hispanics is higher than any one of the highly coveted BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). Despite the recession, U.S. Latino households that earn $50,000 or more are growing at a faster rate than total households.

Between 2000 and 2011, Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase with slightly greater growth than that of all other non-Hispanics combined. Hispanics will contribute 60% or higher of all population growth over the next five years. Even though immigration is down sharply, Hispanics continue to experience dynamic growth. In fact, Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic segment expected to grow 167% from 2010 to 2050, compared to 42% for the total population

While the overall U.S. population is graying, the Latino population remains young and the primary feeder of workforce growth and new consumption. Over 60% of the U.S. Hispanic population is under age 35, and 75% is under age 45.

The median age of the Latino population is 28 years old, nearly ten years younger than the total market median age of 37 years. Given that the age for a new homebuyer is between 26 and 46 years old, Latinos will become a force in residential purchasing over the next ten years.

Because of Latinos’ favorable demographics and increasing economic buying power, IBISWorld has identified seven economic sectors expected to benefit most from Latino demographic change:

  • Residential buying, food (grocery and restaurants)
  • Retail (especially clothing and electronics)
  • Education (higher education and technical schools)
  • Financial services
  • Transportation (automotive and airline)
  • Entertainment industry
  • Media industry

Nielsen notes particularly that In the U.S., Hispanic consumers’ usage rates of smartphones, television, online video, social networking and other forms of entertainment make this group one of today’s most engaged and dynamic populations in the digital space.

Hispanic mobile users send or receive 941 SMS (text) messages a month, more than any other ethnic group.  They also make 13 phone calls per day, 40% more than the average U.S. mobile user.

Social is another platform where Latinos are especially active and rising in numbers.  During February 2012, Hispanics increased their visits to Social Networks/Blogs by 14% compared to February 2011.  Not only are Latinos the fastest growing U.S. ethnic group on Facebook and from a year ago, but also Hispanic adults are 25% more likely to follow a brand and 18% more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.

Socially Connected Hispanic Consumer

Compared to Average US Adult

% More Hispanic Adults

More likely to follow a brand


More likely to follow a celebrity


More likely to post links, articles, videos, websites


More likely to update personal blog


Source: Nielsen, April 2012

Other digital findings from the report include:

  • Hispanic video viewers are 68% more likely than non-Hispanic White viewers to watch video on the Internet, and 20% more likely to watch video on a mobile phone
  • Hispanics outpace all ethnic groups in mobile downloads of music and pictures
  • Hispanics are less likely to have Internet access at home compared to the U.S. average (62 % and 76%, respectively), but have increased home broadband use by 14% over the past year, which is higher than the 6% growth of broadband use in the general market

For more information on Hispanic consumers, sign in to download Nielsen’s “State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative” report, a comprehensive and detailed study with charts and graphs.


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