Latinos will be a fundamental component of U.S. business success in the future thanks to buying power that is poised to grow rapidly over the coming years, a study released Tuesday by the Nielsen company said.
The Latino population of 52 million spent $1 trillion in 2010 and its purchasing capacity is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015, according to data from the State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative.
The study by the media and market research giant shows that Latinos are no longer a subsegment of the economy but a driving force in all aspects of American life.
“The Hispanic community in the United States is large and growing, and businesses must make strides to understand and engage these consumers,” Nielsen’s vice chair, Susan Whiting, said in presenting the report.
“Due to the general youth of this segment, family focus, strong culture and prevalent Spanish-language use, Hispanic consumers are impacting all areas of work and play and helping to redefine American culture in the 21st century,” she said.
The demographic analysis of the minority with the heftiest growth rate in the country calculates that the average age of Hispanics is 28, compared with a national average of 37.
The study shows that 60 percent of the Hispanic population is under 35.
Hispanics are also the immigrant group with the greatest tendency to preserve its culture - nine out of every 10 parents and prospective parents want their children to speak Spanish as well as speaking fluent English.
Conventional wisdom has it that immigrants will assimilate to such a degree that they lose their original customs and beliefs, but the study found otherwise - Hispanics can immerse themselves in American culture without losing their own.
The result is that 37 percent of adult Hispanics who speak English learned Spanish as children and often look for their news and entertainment in Spanish.
Other data that Nielsen highlights to show the importance of Spanish for reaching the Latino consumer is that, according to its research, 56 percent of adult Hispanics speak Spanish at home, compared with 40 percent who speak English.
With regard to technology and the use of media, once more because of their youth, culture and language, Hispanics have increasingly become a prime target for television, smart phones, social networks and videos streamed on the Internet and on mobile phones.
Latino consumers are enthusiastic about using different technological platforms and show a greater readiness to adopt new products than the national average.